Toxic Waste Sites in Texas

1048 WordsMay 4, 20025 Pages
Major Toxic Waste Sites in Texas When thinking about the most polluted states in our country, California and New York instantly pop into our mind. What most people don't know, however, is that Texas now ranks number one in most categories of pollution. Whether it be increased emissions from refineries in Beaumont, large pits filled with contamination at Kelley Air Force Base, or polluted water at Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas has more than its fair share of toxic waste. Exxon/Mobil, one of the nation's leading oil producers, has its main refinery located in Beaumont, Texas. Each year, the residents of Beaumont/Port Arthur have to contend with the 39,000 pounds of pollution spewed each year by the Exxon refinery. Exxon's emissions are 385%…show more content…
Interestingly, Kelly Air Force Base is located near a predominantly Hispanic community, proving once again racial injustice. Lake Sam Rayburn, once known for excellent swimming, water-skiing, and fishing, the lake is now suffering drastically due to unchecked pollution from a paper mill. In recent years, concerns have arisen over threats to water quality and the health of fish in the lake by increasing development at a nearby paper mill which discharges pollutants into the watershed. The Donohue Industries paper mill facility in Angelina County flushes 20 million gallons per day of wastewater into Paper Mill Creek, which flows into the lake. Wastewater from Donohue makes up 73% of the total discharge into Lake Sam Rayburn. High levels of mercury in the fish, low dissolved oxygen levels, and dissolved aluminum concentrations all pointed towards water contamination when tested by the TNRCC. After witnessing almost 2,000 dead bass in the area, residents knew something was wrong. After researching the paper mill, the TNRCC found that dioxins were being produced. Dioxins are highly toxic and carcinogenic by-products of paper mills that use chlorine bleaching agents. Despite this finding, the TNRCC turned a blind eye and refused to believe anything was happening. Underweight fish and dying

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