EPA announces $115 million cleanup for Houston site

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2017, file photo, water from Addicks Reservoir flows into neighborhoods from floodwaters brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The Environmental Protection Agency says it approved a plan to remove sediments laced with highly toxic dioxin from a partially submerged Superfund site near Houston damaged during Hurricane Harvey.

Wednesday's announcement comes two weeks after the agency said an unknown amount of dioxins may have washed downriver from the San Jacinto Waste Pits after floodwaters loosened a protective cap of fabric and rock designed to keep them from spreading.

Dioxins have been linked to birth defects and cancer.

The EPA says it plans to excavate 212,000 cubic yards of contaminated material from the site along the San Jacinto River that was once a paper mill. It estimated the cost at $115 million.

One of the companies responsible for the site, McGinnis Industrial Maintenance Corp., said Wednesday that it would oppose the removal because it could endanger downstream communities.

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