EPA hasn’t inspected flooded Houston-area Superfund sites: report

EPA hasn’t inspected flooded Houston-area Superfund sites: report
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Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reportedly not yet inspected several Superfund sites in the Houston metro area that were flooded in the aftermath of Harvey.

The Houston metro area includes more than 12 Superfund sites, the Associated Press reported

According to the AP, these are areas that the EPA has said are some of America's most contaminated places. 

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A spokeswoman for the EPA said agency experts had previously gone to two such sites in the Corpus Christi area, which is near where Harvey first made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.

No significant damage was found in those sites, spokeswoman Amy Graham told the AP.

“We will begin to assess other sites after flood waters recede in those areas,” Graham said.

Last month, EPA head Scott Pruitt ordered his staff in a memo to take a handful of actions to streamline cleanups at contaminated Superfund sites.

He ordered changes — like taking quick action at sites with high risks of human exposure to human contaminants and focusing resources on sites with the best potential for reuse — based on the recommendations of a task force he convened earlier this year.

The memo sent to high-level staff and regional offices is part of Pruitt’s highly-visible effort to make Superfund cleanup a top priority for his time at the EPA.

Harvey, which made landfall last weekend, has devastated Houston and other areas of Texas.

Thousands of people have been displaced and recovery efforts in the region are ongoing.