Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says she found out Thursday that the toxic water from an Ohio train derailment started to arrive in Deer Park last Wednesday.
The judge shared her frustrations on Thursday, calling for more transparency in this process.
Texas Molecular is the private company that is handling the disposal. The liquid is described as firefighting water, which is a mix of water, chemicals and, according to the company, small amounts of the chemical vinyl chloride. This is runoff water from fighting the massive fire.
The concern over this spill is vinyl chloride is a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer and is extremely bad for the environment.
Thirty trucks are coming daily, and so far, Texas Molecular has received half a million gallons of water. It’ll receive 1.5 million more gallons for a total of 2 million gallons.
The process being used to dispose of the water is called deep well injection.
A hole is drilled thousands of feet below the earth’s surface and the chemical waste is injected into the ground. This is a pretty standard procedure in the industry, but Hidalgo says she still has questions.
“We’ve learned from Texas Molecular that they’re getting this water from trucks. It’s possible by the experts that the water is first taken by rail and then by truck for the last leg. The fact that we don’t know may make no difference, but we need to know,” Hidalgo said.
The judge is asking for more details about what precautions are being taken in transport to hopefully avoid another chemical spill.