HIGHLANDS – Since the beginning of the year, the San Jacinto River Coalition, part of THEA, has held two public meetings to update everyone on developments around the Waste Pits site.
The clean-up itself is in the Remedial Design phase, with the work plan approved. EPA and the PRP are actually working on Pre-Design Phase I, which can be seen on the EPA website. Phase II will be posted by Feb. 12, she said, and will continue through July. Young expected work to remove the waste material could start by the end of 2019.
Young said that the PRP had hired a new consulting firm, GHD Consultants, with experience in this type of Superfund site. They will be helping prepare the work plan and Remedial Action plan. Maintenance of the current Cap is under the direction of another engineering firm, Anchor QEA & Integral.
Sampling of the current material under the cap is taking place, to categorize the degree of hazardous material, and decide where to dispose of it. On site, core samples can be seen in drums, and water level samples in red storage tanks. These will be sent to a lab for testing.
Young criticized the sampling effort, noting that they are not testing for PCBs. “We really don’t understand what is the composition of this waste,” she said. She also questioned whether workers on the site had adequate environmental protection gear, and whether samples taken were protected from tampering or alteration.