"A Sea of Health and Environmental Hazards in Houston’s Floodwaters"

"Officials in Houston are just beginning to grapple with the health and environmental risks that lurk in the waters dumped by Hurricane Harvey, a stew of toxic chemicals, sewage, debris and waste that still floods much of the city.

Flooded sewers are stoking fears of cholera, typhoid and other infectious diseases. Runoff from the city’s sprawling petroleum and chemicals complex contains any number of hazardous compounds. Lead, arsenic and other toxic and carcinogenic elements may be leaching from some two dozen Superfund sites in the Houston area.

Porfirio Villarreal, a spokesman for the Houston Health Department, said the hazards of the water enveloping the city were self-evident.

“There’s no need to test it,” he said. “It’s contaminated. There’s millions of contaminants.”"

Hiroko Tabuchi and Sheila Kaplan report for the New York Times August 31, 2017.


"Tropical Storm Harvey: Dozens of Refinery Leaks Reported; More Toxic Spills Likely" (Greenwire)

"Oil Refineries In Hurricane Harvey’s Path Are Polluting Latino And Low-Income Neighborhoods" (Quartz)

"Harvey Triggers Spike In Hazardous Chemical Releases" (Politico)

"Texas Grants Houston-Area Refinery Permit To Release Potentially Toxic Fumes" (Think Progress)

"Houston’s Human Catastrophe Started Long Before the Storm" (The Nation)

"Houston Faces Another Threat: Damaged Refineries Spewing Toxic Fumes" (HuffPost)

"“Unbearable” Petrochemical Smells Are Reportedly Drifting Into Houston" (New Republic)

"Harvey Aftermath: A Public Health Crisis in the Making" (InsideClimate News)

Source: NY Times, 09/01/2017