The San Jacinto waste pits are the latest in a list of toxic sites confirmed to leak as a result of Harvey’s damage.
As the site where barrels of waste produced by the old Pasadena paper plant were stored, the site holds multiple hazardous compounds know to be dangerous to humans, including dioxin, ABC13 reports.
According to the World Health Organization, dioxin can cause cancer, among other reproductive and immune system problems.
Samples taken by the EPA show the protective layer of rock and fabric, known as the cap, was damaged by the water, exposing contaminants to the environment.
The EPA’s recommended cleanup level for dioxin is 30,000 nanograms per kilogram; dioxin was found in the samples at a level higher than 70,000 nanograms per kilogram in the Houston-area site.
Agency officials are directing those involved in the cleanup and maintenance of the site to take action right away in both repairing the cap and cleaning up the high levels of toxic dioxin.
International Paper and Industrial Maintenance Corporation are further being ordered by the EPA to “conduct supplemental sampling to ensure that the exposed waste material is isolated,” the EPA provided in a statement released on September 28.
This is a developing story.