Mysterious website opposing clean-up of dioxin dump called "deplorable"

At issue is the equivalent of 17,000 truckloads of cancer causing Dioxin waste buried for decades on the banks and now beneath the San Jacinto River.

"There were little Hispanic kids literally swimming in it. They had Dioxin literally on the beach and they were cooking hot dogs in Dioxin," said Terence O'Rourke, Special Assistant Harris County Attorney recalling a visit to the San Jacinto River Waste Pits in 2009.

Because of the danger Dioxin poses to people and the future viability of seafood in Galveston Bay, residents and environmentalists have demanded the contents of the Superfund site be dug up and hauled away.

"That site is a source of Dioxin that can go all over the bay by just getting into the food web," said Scott Jones of the Galveston Bay Foundation.

But in recent months a website called keepitcapped.org has emerged to argue against a complete clean-up of the dump. Site visitors are offered a video illustrating a permanent plastic and rock cap to contain the waste and a picture of an ominous off-shore dredge with the caption, "Do you call this a clean-up?"

Jones says the website illustration is grossly misleading and further insists the method suggested would never be allowed by the EPA.

"You ask me yes or no if that's a scare tactic? I'd say yes," adding that a much different technique would almost certainly be employed at the pits.

"They are going to isolate the river or the water body from the site by building berms or dams. You basically isolate it, using best management practices, than you remove it," said Jones.

Activist leader Jackie Young of the San Jacinto River Coalition calls the website's crane and claw illustration a "deplorable" misrepresentation of clean-up options offered by 21st century engineering.

"It is a fairly simple fix that has been done in other places around the country. We need them to isolate the site, de-water the site and excavate the sediment and waste that is there," said Young.

Exactly who runs the anti-cleanup website remains a mystery.

International Paper and Waste Management are the companies financially responsible for the Dioxin and both tell Fox 26 they have no connection to keepitcapped.org.

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