Possible Toxins from San Jac River; Congressman Green questions EPA
EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Some residents along the west and east banks of the San Jacinto River, near the Superfund Site, have had their well water tested by the Harris County Public Health Department. This is the first time that the county has been willing to participate in this type of general testing, although the San Jacinto River Coalition and others have been asking for tests for years, according to Jackie Young, president of the SJRC.
The county tests came up with surprising and serious concerns with the content of 24 wells, according to Brenda Cabaniss, of the Public Health department. Samples were collected by InControl Technologies for the county. The lab results showed 24 of these 100 wells had dioxin in them, a carcinogen known to cause some types of cancers.
As a result, the Public Health Department of the county sent letters to each of these 24 household, advising them to “use bottled water for drinking and cooking, and for your family pets. Please note, boiling the water will not remove these contaminants.”
“You may continue to shower, bathe, or use the water for other purposes. However, we ask that you refrain from ingesting your tap water.”
However, the letter also states that “Due to a laboratory error, we will need to resample.” The type of error was not clear, either in the letter or in a conversation that this newspaper had with the Health Department.
The letter said that “results of the new samples are expected within three weeks of collection. Once the results are received and analyzed, a representative from Harris County will contact you to discuss the next steps.”
EPA TO TESTIFY AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING
Late on Tuesday, the office of Congressman Gene Green announced that EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, would testify before his Energy and Commerce’s Environment subcommittee, regarding the status of the Waste Pits. Green said in his press release that he was concerned about the health risk to residents living near the Waste Pits, and increases the urgency for action.