Ohio train derailment: EPA to pause toxic waste disposal from East Palestine headed for Houston
HOUSTON - The toxic waste from East Palestine that was headed to Houston and Harris County has been paused, according to lawmakers.
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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee announced via Twitter that she has been in constant communication with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the last few days to address concerns about toxic waste disposal in the Houston-area.
This comes weeks after a toxic Norfolk Southern freight train derailment in Ohio that left toxic chemicals spilled threatened residents.
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In a joint statement on Friday, the governor and FEMA Regional Administrator Thomas Sivak said FEMA and Ohio had been in "constant contact" regarding emergency operations in the community.
"U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA have been working together since day one," they said. "Tomorrow, FEMA will supplement federal efforts by deploying a Senior Response Official along with a Regional Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) to support ongoing operations, including incident coordination and ongoing assessments of potential long term recovery needs."
On Thursday, FOX 26 heard from residents in Deer Park, who shared some concerns about the waste getting disposed of and officials with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) expressed confidence in the procedure.
"Texas Molecular is authorized to accept and manage a variety of waste streams, including vinyl chloride, as part of their RCRA hazardous waste permit and underground injection control permit," TCEQ said in part of their statement.
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As of Saturday afternoon, however, the congresswoman confirmed the pause, noting its vitality in decision-making for residents "without prior notice."
"This process of dumping toxic waste in communities without prior notice to local cities and counties has to stop," Jackson Lee said via Twitter.
This is a developing story and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.