Thank you to all who attended our Jones Road community meeting this week! If you’re interested in keeping up with the Site but weren’t able to catch the meeting, you can view the recording to the left, on our Youtube channel here, or keep reading for a brief summary of what we discussed!
THEA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to bring transparency and urgency to Superfund processes across Harris County. The Jones Road Groundwater Plume Superfund Site is one of three primary sites that we work on. Contamination at this site is the result of years of improper waste disposal by a local drycleaning company. Chemical compounds from the drycleaning waste seeped into the soil and groundwater in the surrounding areas.
This site is currently in the remedial action phase of the Superfund process, meaning steps to prevent exposure to toxic contamination should be actively taking place. However, this site has been in remedial action for several years, and insufficient action has occurred from the EPA.
The Site is currently undergoing its Five-Year Review, meaning the EPA is assessing measures taken to date to determine whether or not they have been effective at protecting human health and the environment from exposure to contamination. THEA spent a significant portion of 2021 reviewing technical documents pertaining to the history of this site. We compiled a list of concerns and presented them to the EPA for consideration during their review process.
We found out that the EPA had released an addendum in October of 2021 acknowledging some of the same concerns we presented. Their addendum acknowledged that harmful contaminants are present at levels above what is considered safe for drinking and that an immediate exposure pathway still exists through the use of groundwater wells in contaminated areas. They also acknowledged that institutional controls are not being implemented, meaning they have not been communicating with local property owners and businesses to inform about the plume and opportunities to connect to a safe water source.
The addendum, however, offered no plan of action to address these concerns. So we are continuing to meet with community members, elected officials, and EPA representatives to garner momentum around this site and push for effective remedial measures to be taken with urgency.
We are also conducting sampling this year with our university partners to get a better understanding of where the plume of contamination may have migrated. The most recent plume delineation map produced by the EPA was published in 2010. In the past decade, the plume has migrated, and it’s important for the community to know where exactly the contamination is located and which properties may be at risk. If you would like your property’s air and water tested as a part of this effort, reach out to our Assistant Director, Rachel Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you as always for your support! For more detail from this meeting, find the full recording on our YouTube channel.