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Citizens’ coalition protests toxins in river

SJ waste pits map
MAP OF THE SAN JACINTO TOXIC WASTE PITS as furnished by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the US EPA, show the confirmed North Impoundment Superfund Site, and the suspect- ed South Impoundment site.

HOUSTON – Members of a group known as the San Jacinto River Coalition, as well as the TexansTogether organization, staged a demonstration last Wednesday, Dec. 18th to protest the inaction of parties involved in the clean-up of the toxic waste pits in the San Jacinto River near Channelview and Highlands.

These pits, which are the result of dumping of industrial waste from the paper-making process some 40 years ago, contain dioxin, which is considered by some health experts to be the most deadly compound in existence. The dioxins have been leaking into the river water, and fish and blue crabs absorb them and make them deadly for human consumption, say the experts. The county has posted warning signs, but many fisherman ignore them.

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has sued the companies that now are responsible for the cleanup. These are Waste Management, successor to McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp., and International Paper, which is the successor to Champion Paper Co. whose paper mill generated the waste.