EPA orders cleanup at toxic site
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has handed a rare victory to environmentalists, ordering two big corporations this week to pay $115 million to clean up a Texas toxic waste site that may have spread dangerous levels of pollution during flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a directive Wednesday requiring International Paper and McGinnis Industrial Maintenance Corp., a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., to excavate 212,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments from the San Jacinto River Waste Pits site.
Pruitt visited the Superfund site outside Houston last month following historic rains and flooding from the storm, meeting with local environmental activists who had campaigned for years for approval of a cleanup plan.
Pruitt has said cleaning Superfund sites is among his top priorities, even as he has worked to delay and rollback a wide array of environmental regulations that would reduce air and water pollution. Often Pruitt has done so directly at the behest of industries that petitioned him for relief from what they characterize as overly burdensome and costly regulations.