Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is asking for a quick trial date in the San Jacinto River Waste Pits case because people are still fishing the San Jacinto River and may be eating dioxin-contaminated fish.
Ryan announced his action today, saying that somehow, people haven't gotten the word about the fishing (and consumption!) ban in effect and game wardens have confirmed that people are still pulling out those
three-eyed fish right and left as they fish right by the waste pits.
And possibly passing those fish on to your dinner table.
"It has become increasingly evident that the public is not fully informed regarding the fishing and consumption ban in effect for the San Jacinto River. People are eating the restricted species of fish and also selling it to the wholesale market, where it could land on anyone's dinner table," Ryan said.
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The county filed a civil suit against International Paper Company, Waste Management Inc., Waste Management of Texas, Inc. and McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation in December 2011.
The lawsuit alleges that these companies' "actions, inactions and silence in connection with the Waste Pitts led to decades of dioxin exposure to the public and the food supply of Harris County." The case has been scheduled for April 15, 2013, but Ryan says there may be other trials scheduled for that date and wants to make sure his goes first.
A hearing on his expedited request is set for November 12 at 10 a.m. in the 295th District Court.
"While game wardens have increased their patrols on the river to try to stop subsistence fishermen and others from catching and consuming fish impacted by the dioxin, they do not have the manpower and funds to adequately police the area to ensure that the public is protected," Ryan said.