Hazardous Waste Sites

Interactive Web tools

Environmental Justice Database – The Texas A&M University Superfund Research Project Community Engagement Core has developed a searchable database of resources regarding environmental justice issues within Texas. Use this interactive tool to search for environmental justice issues, health outcomes they may be associated with, and the areas in which they have been studied.

Conditional Toxicity Values – Developed by the Texas A&M University: Decision Science Core and Research Translation Core, the Conditional Toxicity Values (CTV) web tool provides a web – interface to an in silico tool that can predict toxicity values with an uncertainty of an order of magnitude or less.

Hurricane Harvey Research Story Map – An interactive Story Map created by the Community Engagement Core to share the Texas A&M University Superfund Research Center’s work and research findings related to Hurricane Harvey.

 


Hazardous Waste Sites

San Jacinto Waste Pits

During the 1960s the San Jacinto Waste Pits served as a waste site for papermill waste.  Over time, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCCDDs/PCDFs) began to accumulate with the San Jacinto River eventually engulfing the site.  Ultimately, the submerged site led to the spread of PCCDDs/PCDFs within the environment thereby posing a health concern for local communities and the environment.  A cap was placed over the site in 2005 with monitoring and cleanup activities ongoing. https://www.epa.gov/tx/sjrwp

Project – Texas A&M University: Community Engagement Core

Project Investigator – Jennifer Horney, Galen Newman

Research Type – Collection of Samples for off-site analysis

Status: Ongoing


French LTD.

This site served as a sand quarry from the 1950s to the late 1960s; then in 1966 industrial waste was accepted until 1971.  Over time, the site became a lagoon containing the following contaminants: heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  As a result surrounding surface and groundwater were contaminated along with soil and sludge.  Clean-up efforts and monitoring are ongoing.  https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0602498

Project – Texas A&M University: Community Engagement Core

Project Investigator – Jennifer Horney, Galen Newman

Research Type – Collection of Samples for off-site analysis

Status: Ongoing


Holmes Road Landfill

This site was a functional landfill until 1970 when it was capped.  Types of waste reportedly accepted at the site include: construction, industrial, and household waste, in addition to tires and brush.  As a part of the Brownfields Sustainability Pilot, the city of Houston hopes to develop the land as a solar panel farm on the southern portion of the 300 acre lot. Holmes Road Landfill EPA information

Proposed future plans for the landfill site: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/houston_solar.pdf


Harrisburg/Manchester Neighborhood

The Harrisburg/Manchester neighborhood, resides within a mile radius of thirty facilities that report to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). Of these facilities WEACT for Environmental Justice (2013) reports:

11 generate large quantities of hazardous waste

4 treat, store, or dispose of hazardous wastes

9 are considered major dischargers of air pollution

8 are key facilities that discharge storm water

The Mayor’s Task Force 2006 defined twelve ‘definitive risk’ air pollutants which are: ozone, Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), Diesel particulate matter, 1-3 Butadiene, Chromium VI, Benzene, Ethylene dibromide (dibromoethane), Acrylonitrile, Formaldehyde, Acrolein, Chlorine, and Hexamethylene Diisocyanate. Of these twelve ‘definitive risk’ air pollutants, Harrisburg/Manchester regularly exceeds safe levels for seven of them (Mayor’s Task Force 2006; UCS & t.e.j.a.s., 2016).

Within the neighborhood, there is only one public green space called Hartman Park, which borders the Valero Refinery. Valero’s throughput capacity is 160,000 barrels per day while another industrial site in the area called Westway Chemicals has the capacity to store more than two million barrels of products, such as fertilizers and petroleum (UCS & t.e.j.a.s., 2016; Westway Terminal Group, 2014).

Demographically, the Harrisburg/Manchester neighborhood is ninety-eight minority with seventy-eight percent of the adult population not fully fluent in English. Furthermore, the median income level is less than a third of the income level made in the city of Houston. Educational levels of residents is at least a high school diploma for nearly three-quarters of the residents with only six percent of the residents having attained a baccalaureate degree (City of Houston Planning and Development Department, 2014).

Project – Texas A&M University: Community Engagement Core

Project Investigator – Jennifer Horney, Galen Newman

Research Type – Communication Activities, Outreach of Community Engagement, Collection of Samples for off-site analysis, Epidemiology study

Status: Ongoing


Other Superfund sites in Texas: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/remediation/superfund/sites/county/harris.html