EPA says Puerto Rico residents resorted to contaminated water at Dorado Superfund site

Supplies still aren’t reaching where they’re needed in Puerto Rico, and some people who desperately need water are getting it from hazardous sources. After evaluating five places deemed especially hazardous to health and the environment, so-called Superfund sites, Environmental Protection Agency staff saw people accessing wells at a chemical-tainted water source on the northern coast of Puerto Rico.

“We have confirmed that residents accessed wells only at the Dorado site,” an EPA spokesperson told The Verge in an email. The contaminated wells in Dorado are part of two water systems that together supply water to more than 67,000 people. Industrial solvents have been tainting portions of…

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Toxic waste seeps from a Houston Superfund site after Harvey’s floods

Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented rains and flooding last month caused a leak from a heavily polluted site along the San Jacinto River east of Houston, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The so-called San Jacinto River Waste Pits, one of several Superfund sites flooded during the storm, contain cancer-causing waste from a paper mill. Harvey’s rains damaged the protective cap that was supposed to hold in the waste, exposing the “underlying waste material,” the EPA says.

Some of the highly toxic chemicals found include dioxins; they’re known to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, and cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. …

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13 Houston Superfund sites remain flooded after Hurricane Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey landed in Houston last week, a major concern was the damage that the city’s petrochemical industry could sustain from the storm. The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that 13 of the 41 sites in the area remain flooded, while a report from the Associated Press says that the agency has yet to physically inspect most of the polluted areas.

Following the storm, numerous chemical plants in and around the city experienced damage and in some cases, explosions as a result of the flooding. But Superfund sites — heavily polluted areas that require long-term cleanup — are of particular concern. Prior to the storm, workers “took steps to secure state sites in the projected path of Hurricane Harvey,” while the EPA…

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