EPA finds 13 Superfund sites possibly damaged after Harvey

EPA finds 13 Superfund sites possibly damaged after Harvey
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Saturday that 13 Superfund sites have been flooded or could be facing damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

The agency said that two of the sites, which are areas that are polluted with hazardous material and require extensive cleanup, had been inspected and do not require immediate cleanup.

Eleven sites have proven to be inaccessible for response teams, however the agency said teams are in place to inspect the areas once flooding from the storm subsides. 

In total, the EPA said that it had conducted initial assessments at 41 Superfund sites in impacted areas using "aerial images" and contact with with those responsible for regular cleanup activities.

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The statement comes after The Associated Press reported that EPA officials had not yet inspected several Superfund sites in the Houston metro area that had been flooded following Harvey.

The EPA called the report "misleading" and "inaccurate."

"The facts are that EPA and TCEQ are working together along with other local, state and federal authorities and emergency responders around the clock to address the human health and environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey and its effects, especially historic and devastating flooding throughout Southeast Texas," the agency said.

The agency's head Scott Pruitt ordered his staff to streamline cleanups at the sites in July.