"Anglers Flock To Contaminated Texas Reservoir"

"DONNA, Texas -- Signs bearing a skull and crossbones dot the banks of a reservoir and canal near this town on the U.S.-Mexico border, but the fishermen standing in the reeds nearby ignore them, casually reeling in fish that are contaminated with toxic chemicals and banned for human consumption."

"Some do it to quell their hunger, others to make some cash by selling the carp, catfish and gar in nearby neighborhoods.

'It's a great little lake,' says Joe Garcia, 43, among those fishing here one day recently, where a carp with the highest levels of toxic PCB chemicals ever tested in a fish was caught years ago. He says he throws back his catch but a lot of others here can't afford to pass up the meal.

The reservoir is one of thousands of sites along the U.S.-Mexico border where industry, pesticide use and population growth left hazards in past decades that still await solutions. Donna is among the worst -earning a place on the Environmental Protection Agency's priority list - and illustrates how slowly the government cleanup process moves and how those struggling for subsistence in poor areas like this sometimes do not wait.

Four years after the site made the priority list, the EPA plans to begin soon extensive sampling of the water, sediment and fish that could become the foundation for a cleanup plan."

Christopher Sherman reports for the Associated Press March 3, 2012.

Source: AP, 03/05/2012