In the months since traces of Dioxin turned up in the water of more than two dozen Highlands area wells, the folks whose health and home values stood to take a hit have been waiting for more evidence.
This week, Fox 26 obtained a Texas Department of State Health Services review of independent well testing.
The report confirms the presence of Dioxin in three different wells including TCDD, a specific form of the toxin that could only have come from the nearby Superfund site known as the San Jacinto River Waste Pits.
"The bottom line is the stuff is there in varying levels and our residents are sick. The Department of State Health Services has confirmed increased incidences of cancer in the communities near the pits. Now we know that all the forms of Dioxins from the pits have been found through time in the groundwater. It's not acceptable and it’s not safe," said Jackie Young of the San Jacinto River Coalition.
The Dioxin detected was in small enough amounts that the state estimated a low to moderate increase in cancer risk to those with substantial exposure to water from two of the wells.
That said, Coalition member Pamela Bonta has surveyed hundreds of residents and believes irreparable health damage has already been done.
"I'm always devastated when I walk away from the stories these people have and these are not rare stories. These are common place in Highlands," said Bonta.
It is a community suffering in the shadow of a Dioxin dump now slated for complete removal by the EPA which is still accepting public comment on its proposal.