Thank you to everyone who tuned into our town hall on Tuesday! We enjoyed the opportunity to catch everyone up on news regarding all three communities.
If you missed the meeting, you can find it on YouTube here. Or keep reading for a brief summary of what we discussed!
In November 2021, we submitted a position statement to the EPA expressing our concerns about deficiencies at this site. We asked the EPA to consider our concerns during the Site’s Five-Year Review process. Through several follow-up conversations with EPA personnel, we were eventually informed that in October 2021, the EPA released an addendum to their previous Five-Year Review, acknowledging two of the primary deficiencies we noted in our statement. The addendum stated that the current remedy at the Site is not protective because local residents can be exposed to unsafe levels of contaminants through reliance on groundwater wells for their water source. No plan of action, however, has been established.
We have written a response to the EPA asking them when they are going to take action on the concerning deficiencies they continue to acknowledge at the Site, and we are currently awaiting a response.
While we wait for the EPA to take action, we are embarking on our own project to conduct environmental sampling to determine the current geographic extent of the plume of contamination. We are looking for volunteers to help us with this project, so please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to have water and air on your property sampled for contaminants.
San Jacinto River Waste Pits
In January, the EPA granted a 160-day extension to the design phase at the Northern Pit. The EPA is aware of how critical it is to keep this process moving forward, so the 160-day deadline is operating on a rolling basis, allowing certain components of the design to be completed in phases between now and June.
The Southern Pit, on the other hand, is moving into remedial action, and construction to remove the waste is on track to begin this year.
Greater Fifth Ward
On November 19th, EPA administrator Michael Regan came to the Greater Fifth Ward to speak directly with members of the community about their environmental health concerns. This visit was a crucial step forward in getting this community on the EPA’s radar and giving local residents the opportunity to make their voices heard.
TCEQ has not yet released the date for the UP permit application update meeting. We will keep the community posted as soon as we hear.