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Worried about pollution after Harvey?

Last updated: 9/18/2017

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we've been shining a spotlight on a variety of pollution problems, including Superfund sites, sewage overflows and air emissions. TexPIRG is working alongside our colleagues at Environment Texas to stay on top of the latest news and information about pollution in the area. Here's a list of what we know so far.

FACT SHEET: Environmental and health concerns about oil and gas spills after Hurricane Harvey

Texas’ oil and gas regulator, the Railroad Commission of Texas, has received reports of spilled oil, gas, and other fluids from at least 20 locations, involving thousands of barrels of oil and produced water. We may never know the full impacts of these spills, but here’s what we know now.

Harvey likely caused millions of gallons of sewage overflows in Houston 

At least 12 sewage overflows in the Houston area have been reported since Hurricane Harvey hit. Volume amounts have yet to reported. But given that up to 2 million gallons of sewage have been released in previous storms with only 10 inches of rain or less, Hurricane Harvey’s much higher rainfall amounts should be expected to cause millions of gallons in sewage overflows. Read more here.

Toxic sites flooded by Hurricane Harvey 

Officials are still trying to confirm whether Texas floodwaters have spread contamination from the toxic waste sites known as “Superfund sites” to residential areas. The Environmental Protection Agency says 13 Superfund sites were flooded and potentially damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Click here for a list of those locations, along with the contaminants at the sites and associated health concerns.

Petrochemical facilities release more than two million pounds of pollution during Hurricane Harvey

According to initial reports to Texas regulators, when Houston’s sweeping petrochemical industry shut down in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey, it released more than 2 million pounds of harmful pollution into the air. Read more here.

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