The Waste Pits were once an almost invisible crisis in our own backyard. Now, thanks to our efforts, they have become a major public policy issue in the Greater Houston area. We have succeeded in developing and mobilizing a network of more than 2,000 supporters including local elected officials and others who have joined us in advocating for full remediation of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits site. In February 2016, for example, the EPA hosted a well-attended Community Open House where Congressman Gene Green called for full removal of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits; his description of the removal process was closely aligned with recommendations that we had conveyed to him.
This progress provides strong evidence of the respect we have earned from government agency officials and from federal, state, and local policymakers. Our efforts to act as a credible third party participant in the Waste Pits Superfund process as well as a crucial communication intermediary between residents and government agencies have won bi-partisan support.
Although community involvement is extremely important in the Superfund process, many communities fall short in this area due to lack of government outreach and education. We have worked hard to ensure that this is not case with the San Jacinto River Waste Pits. Citizens regularly fill government meetings to capacity. The EPA also invited us to serve on the Waste Pits Community Advisory Committee and has requested our support for multiple technical reports on behalf of the communities surrounding the Waste Pits. Our multidisciplinary approach and faithfulness to scientific facts have allowed us to maintain a healthy balance between being the voice of communities that suffered from decades of toxic exposure and working constructively with government agencies.