Toxic oversight: how millions of pounds of toxic chemicals are being dumped into the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay through loopholes in the permitting process.
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In this report, Clean Water Action documents that companies are discharging millions of pounds of toxic chemicals which are not listed in their permits and are therefore largely unregulated by the state and EPA. This toxic oversight stems from a mechanism in the permitting process which establishes effluent guidelines for certain types of industry. EPA studies the chemicals present in wastewater from various categories of industry and establishes permitting guidelines for the removal of those chemicals. As a result, the permits only regulate the chemicals that are listed in the effluent guidelines. At least 14 companies are dumping millions of pounds of toxic chemicals not specifically regulated in their permits.