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San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site

Upcoming Community Meeting
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), federal, state and Harris County agencies, local officials and industry, invite you to attend the community meeting for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Highlands Community Center: 604 Highland Woods Drive, Highlands, Texas 77562.
This meeting will provide the opportunity to ask questions about site activities, the remedial design, the selected remedy, and the remediation process. The meeting is being held in a fully accessible facility. For specific needs or questions about the facility, please contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, Janetta Coats, at 1-800-533-3508 (toll-free).
Current Status

This agreement marks the next step in my commitment to the people of Harris County to expedite the remediation of the San Jacinto Waste Pits site. EPA will ensure that the Remedial Design removes all the contamination as quickly and safely as possible and permanently protects the health and safety of the surrounding communities and the San Jacinto River. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

An agreement has been reached with the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site to perform a Remedial Design for the site’s selected remedy. The selected cleanup action addresses the highly toxic dioxin contamination at the site in Harris County, Texas. The agreement is a result of expedited negotiations between EPA and PRPs for design of the cleanup. The Remedial Design is estimated to take about 29 months to complete to ensure waste is safely and properly contained during construction and removal. The design work will be performed by the PRPs under the oversight of EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The current quarterly cap inspection and maintenance program will continue while the Remedial Design is being completed. While the Remedial Design is ongoing, the U.S. Department of Justice and EPA will begin negotiations with the PRPs to enter into a Consent Decree regarding construction of the remedy.

Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent for Remedial Design Document

Press Release

San Jacinto Waste Pits areaEPA Cleanup Plan

 On October 11, the cleanup plan to address highly toxic dioxin contamination at the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site in Harris County, Texas was approved. The selected remedy will protect human health and the environment by removing highly contaminated material from the site and securing less contaminated areas. The plan provides certainty to people living near the site by permanently addressing risk posed by the contamination. It also provides certainty to other economic interests including the businesses that rely on the San Jacinto River for navigation and the Interstate-10 transportation corridor. EPA’s cleanup plan includes installing engineering controls such as cofferdams before excavating almost 212,000 cubic yards of dioxin contaminated material for disposal. A small amount of material will stay on the site where controls will prevent access, eliminate off-site migration and monitor the natural recovery into the future. The estimated cost for the remedy is $115 million and is cost-effective; representing a reasonable value for the cost incurred. EPA’s final cleanup plan, called a Record of Decision, addresses comments on the proposed plan concerning the risk of water spreading dioxin contamination downstream by installing controls such as cofferdams to allow for dry excavation of the waste material. Changes in the construction method will effectively eliminate any potential for spreading contamination to downstream areas. The $97 million proposed plan outlined wet excavation of material. EPA’s decision, fully explained in the Record of Decision, is based on extensive studies of the contamination, human health risks, and environmental risks of this site. The final cleanup plan considers the ever-changing San Jacinto River, which encroaches on the site, and protecting important downstream resources including the Galveston Bay estuary. EPA’s selected remedy will permanently address the highly toxic dioxin waste materials, meets the federal regulatory requirements of the National Contingency Plan for cleanup of hazardous sites, and is protective of public health and the environment. EPA will release an Administrative Record, which consists of all documents used to support its selected remedy.  

The Record of Decision (10/11/2017,  15.8 MB, 457 pages) is available. The Administrative Record for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site is also available. Copies of the Administrative Record including the Record of Decision will also be at the following locations:  

Stratford Branch Library
509 Stratford Street
Highlands, Texas, 77562

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

(214) 665-6427

National Priorities Listing (NPL) History

Proposal Date: 9/17/2007
Final Listing Date: 3/19/2008

Community Engagement

More information about the site:

For more information, contact EPA Community Involvement at 1-800-533-3508 (toll-free).

Aerial view of San Jacinto cap.Aerial view of San Jacinto cap.

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