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Pearland Gets The State's Newest Superfund Site! Take That, Pasadena!

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There's an ugly mess of chemicals in the groundwater on the south side of Pearland. The contamination is severe enough that the abandoned tank farm has become the latest addition to the state's Superfund Registry.

This is no surprise to nearby residents, some of whom are being given bottled water because their wells are contaminated.

That state has been investigating complaints at the site since 1987 and have identified high levels of lead, trichloroethene and other chemicals in the groundwater.

Trichloroethene is considered a possible carcinogen and has caused liver, kidney, or lung cancer in some studies of mice and rates. Moreoever, some studies of people exposed over long periods to high levels of trichloroethylene in drinking water have found evidence of increased cancer, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cis-1,2-dichloroethene,

2-butanone,

MTBE,

acetone

and

toluene also have been identified in the groundwater table, but they "are

not classifiable" as to human carcinogenicity by the Environmental Protection Agency, the feds say.

The waste site, once operated by

Camtraco Enterprises, Inc., of Houston, is located at

18823 Amoco Drive, just off Texas Highway 35 on the south side of Pearland, the largest city in Brazoria County. The property is locked up and surrounded by a chain-link fence.

Before it decides what to do with the land, the state will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 19 at

Pearland Junior High South, which is conveniently located near the contaminated property.

Tax records show the property is now owned by Brazoria County, said Andrea Morrow, spokeswoman for the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality.

"As far as remediation being completed, " she tells Hair Balls, "we will determine from investigation what needs to be done. That's why we're listing this as a Superfund site."

-- Steve Olafson

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