New EPA report reveals Jones Road Superfund funds ‘not protective’

Houston, Texas– A five-year report by the Jones Road Groundwater Plume Superfund, released by the Environmental Protection Agency in late September, concluded the remedial action was “unprotective” for the site.

The video shown above is from a previous report of a Division 3 cancer cluster.

According to the EPA, Superfund sites are locations where hazardous waste has been dumped or improperly disposed of, resulting in risks to human and environmental health. For residents of the area, this means the agency has determined that despite efforts to clear the air, soil and groundwater of pollutants, the area is still contaminated.

The pollutants were introduced to the area by Bell Dry Cleaners, who operated at the mall at 11600 Jones Road, Houston, from 1984 to 2002. Cleaners carried out improper disposal of dry cleaning solvents, which then seeped into the soil and groundwater, contaminating both, the report’s summary said.

The EPA began its site remediation program in 2010, which includes abstraction and treatment of groundwater, activation of microorganisms in the soil and water to control pollutants and toxins, plugging and abandoning private water wells in the area, groundwater monitoring, and sampling in Indoor spaces contained air and allowed people in the affected area to connect to the city’s water supply.

These measures were expanded in 2017 to include soil vapor extraction, which became operational in the shallow soils and deep unsaturated sands in the affected area. The agency said these extractors will remain operational until they reach performance cleanup levels.

A 2019 Community Impact report found that the local non-profit Texas Health and Environment Alliance said the site was unsafe, although business owners on the site said they had nothing to worry about.

According to the EPA, private water wells are still in use in the affected areas, exposing users to pollutants and potentially causing adverse health effects. John Meyer, acting director of the Superfund and Emergency Management Division for EPA Region 6, recommended in the September report that measures be taken to limit exposure to contaminated water in private wells still in use in the region. Meyer also recommended the agency find wells where contaminant levels exceed clean-up targets and assess the route of exposure of fumes.

The THEA states on its website that it reviews the EPA’s report and develops independent exposure control recommendations that can be proposed to the EPA. Part of the group’s mission is to work with the community in the affected area to raise awareness of the Superfund site and how exposure to soil and water in the affected water wells can be harmful to people’s health.

Representatives from the organization will be stationed at 12022 Jones Road, Houston, to engage with community members in the area on October 15. Her next action will include a door-to-door engagement with residents on October 21-28.

Those interested in getting involved with THEA and their Jones Road Superfund efforts can visit the group’s website or email them at For more information on the Jones Road Superfund follow this link.

This article is courtesy of our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspapers.

RELATED: City of Houston; Harris County plans to sue Union Pacific over creosote contamination New EPA report reveals Jones Road Superfund funds ‘not protective’

Russell Falcon

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