I can’t believe he actually said this concerning the San Jacinto River waste pit, a Superfund Site on the east side of the County. From the Baytown Sun:
“I’ve driven by here 100 times, and this is actually the first time I’ve been on the ground down here,” Babin said.
An EPA dive team discovered 22 small areas measuring up to 50-square-feet earlier this month that confirmed the protective cap was absent and the underlying toxic waste material was exposed. Data indicated that dioxins are still registering nearly as high in concentration as they were in those first days and weeks after Hurricane Harvey when they were more than 70,000 parts per trillion. The latest data found levels up to 60,500 parts per trillion, which is far beyond acceptable, as the EPA mandates cleanups for 30 parts per trillion and up.
Really? Its not like it hasn’t been in the news. In fact not only has it been in the news, the Harris County Attorney, Vince Ryan, sued to have the pits cleaned. The pits were discovered in 2005 and was a dumping site for companies back in the 1960’s. Since 2005 the community and Harris County has been working to hold those who created this mess accountable. The EPA declared the pits a Superfund site in 2008. The Galveston Bay Foundation has a great collection of information and history about the site at their website.
So it’s not like the San Jacinto Waste Pits just sprang up as Babin was driving around in his district. It has been there for as long as Babin has been in office. It just wasn’t a priority for him especially when he advocates for the end of the EPA by cutting their funding. He also has major donors from the companies in the area who want to be freed from EPA regulations, the type that would prevent Superfund sites.
“I’ve also heard there is a Space facility on the west side of the district. Maybe I will take a tour.”