Cypress, TX. – More than 20 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency listed a Northwest Harris County shopping center at the 11600 block of Jones Road as a superfund site after county officials say a former dry cleaning business spent more than a decade improperly dumping toxic waste.
What exactly is a Superfund Site? Click here for more
“You need to do whatever you can to not drink the water. It is such a risk to the community,” said Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey.
Environmentalists claim those chemicals seeped into the ground, contaminating the groundwater, which this community largely depends on for its supply.
“The EPA has detected these chemicals in the air, inside of homes, and in the water that they use for cooking, bathing, and brushing their teeth,” said Rachel Jordan with the Texas Health and Environment Alliance.
The Texas Health and Environment Alliance and Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey claim efforts to protect the public’s health have failed and said there is no time to wait for a full clean-up plan to be approved.
They are calling on the EPA to take action now. They sent a letter to the EPA, urging them to provide immediate protection to at-risk properties to prevent further exposure while working on a long-term plan to clean up groundwater contamination.
The EPA said it’s continuing to sample air and groundwater monitoring wells.
A business owner told KPRC 2 that this week, they’ve been out here almost every day.
“They come over here, they do what they have to do,” said Johnny Rodriguez.
He’s owned a business in this strip center for the past seven years.
“I wash my hands with it. Sometimes I brush my teeth with the water at the shop, not a problem at all,” Rodriguez said.
This demand for action comes ahead of an EPA community meeting set for Monday, Feb. 27 from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Bleyl Middle School.
For a list of possible superfund sites in your area, click here.