The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently completed removal of nearly 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the Donna Reservoir and Canal System Superfund site in South Texas.
The sediment was removed from a half-mile section of the canal with the highest concentration of contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The PCBs found in in the canal accumulate in fish tissue and are a health risk for people who eat fish from the canal.
“EPA, TCEQ and our partners are working to achieve the cleanup goals for the Donna Canal and Reservoir System as quickly and safely as possible,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Completing the sediment removal and treatment is vital to finally restoring the site and making it safer for the South Texas community.”
“The removal of this massive amount of sediment is a crucial step toward restoring the site to its original condition and is just one example of the many ways TCEQ and EPA work together to clean up the Texas environment,” added TCEQ Commissioner Bobby Janecka. “We look forward to experiencing further progress as the work on this project continues.”
The site, south of the city of Donna and near the border with Mexico, consists of a 400-acre reservoir and a system of lined and unlined irrigation canals and was placed on EPA’s National Priorities List of contaminated sites in March 2008.
The sediment removal is part of the Record of Decision (ROD), the official plan for cleaning up the site. The removal process included dredging, drying and treating the sediment before taking it to an offsite disposal facility.