DEER PARK, Texas – Many are concerned after a Deer Park company is being contracted to dispose of potentially dangerous wastewater from the Ohio train derailment.
According to reports, Texas Molecular is being contracted to help dispose of the contaminated water left behind in East Palestine, Ohio after a train derailed and caught on fire and left behind toxic chemicals and contaminated water as a result.
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“We are aware of a Deer Park company being contracted to dispose of potentially dangerous wastewater from the Ohio train derailment. My office has been in contact with HC Pollution Control, the Fire Marshal, and other subject-matter experts to ensure that if hazardous materials are coming to Harris County, it will be done so in as safe a manner as possible,” said -Harris County Precinct Commissioner Adrian Garcia. “I have also personally spoken with Deer Park Mayor Mouton, and we share the urgent need for safety. While there are assurances being made that transporting the wastewater poses minimal danger to people, my office will closely monitor the situation to make sure people aren’t put in any risk.”
Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton received information from Texas Molecular on the issue of them receiving the contaminated water which he shared with FOX 26. Texas Molecular says this:
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“You may have seen or heard about a railcar fire in East Palestine, OH. The fire was extinguished by a small amount of fire foam and extremely large quantities of water. The large amounts of water created by extinguishing the fire contains small amounts of Per and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) – in the fire foam, as well as small amounts of chemicals like vinyl chloride. Efforts were made to collect much of the firefighting water, even though dilute, to keep it from harming people or the environment.
PFAS is found in everyday products from packaging, apparel, non-stick cookware, lubricants, fabric protection, firefighting foam and many other consumer and commercial applications. It has been in commerce for about 70 years. There are concerns about its potential health risks. There are thousands of PFAS compounds. Regulations on many PFAS compounds are in development.
Vinyl chloride is a building block for making polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is a widely used plastic material. The vinyl chloride we receive is not a gas but a very low concentration that is soluble in water. Texas Molecular safely manages water with PFAS and vinyl chloride over many years. We accept wastewater with very low levels of PFAS contamination. As is the case with much of the water we accept over our almost 40-year history, these waters are sent to us to eliminate the risk of discharge of chemicals to water and groundwater and removed from the environment. Our work is done under permits and oversight by the EPA and TCEQ. Most wastewaters with PFAS alone are actually non-hazardous. The water from East Palestine is hazardous because it contains vinyl chloride.
In this case, the citizens in the East Palestine area and regulatory agencies want to remove the risk of even small amounts of these chemicals in the firefighting water getting into the environment where they might pose a risk to people or water. We are helping the impacted area by taking firewater in a way that removes the risk to water, groundwater, air emissions, and protects public health. This water is well within our permits, capabilities, and experience in managing waters like these safely and in compliance.
The citizens of Deer Park and the surrounding area may remember when there was a very large fire in our area a few years ago. A very large amount of firefighting water was used. After the fire, there was concern about the risk of all the firefighting water getting into the Ship Channel. Regulatory and citizen interests were happy to know that Texas Molecular was available to assist with reduction of any risk to water or public health in our area. Now we are helping another community with similar concerns. I do not know what you may hear about our role in accepting this water; my desire is to provide information to dispel any confusion about the water we accept.”
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