If you’ve been following this story, you already know that Texas exempted itself from the FEMA rules that requires them to maintain a record of all toxic substances on sites so that first responders know what they’re dealing with. FREEDUMB! Nice that they won’t be sharing that info with the public as they clean this up:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it has recovered 517 containers of “unidentified, potentially hazardous material” from highly contaminated toxic waste sites in Texas that flooded last month during Hurricane Harvey.
The agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there’s a threat to human health.
The one-sentence disclosure about the 517 containers was made Friday night deep within a media release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency summarizing the government’s response to the devastating storm.
At least a dozen Superfund sites in and around Houston were flooded in the days after Harvey’s record-shattering rains stopped. Associated Press journalists surveyed seven of the flooded sites by boat, vehicle and on foot. The EPA said at the time that its personnel had been unable to reach the sites, though they surveyed the locations using aerial photos.
The Associated Press reported Monday that a government hotline also received calls about three spills at the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund site, a former petroleum waste processing plant outside Houston contaminated with a dangerous brew of cancer-causing chemicals. Records obtained by the AP showed workers at the site reported spills of unknown materials in unknown amounts.