not a pretty site

Superfund sites are in danger of flooding, putting millions of Americans at risk.

An investigation by the Associated Press found that 327 of the most polluted sites in the country are vulnerable to flooding and sea-level rise spurred by climate change.

The 2 million people who live within a mile of these sites face a serious health threat if floodwaters carry hazardous materials into their homes or contaminate drinking water.

We already saw this happen in Houston when Hurricane Harvey’s torrential rains hit 13 Superfund sites. The San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site, for example, leaked chemicals that can cause cancer and birth defects. The EPA estimates it will cost $115 million to clean up the site.

Low-income communities and people of color likely face the most risk from Superfund sites. “We place the things that are most dangerous in sacrifice zones, which in many instances are communities of color where we haven’t placed as much value on their lives,” said Mustafa Ali, who led the EPA’s environmental justice program before resigning this year.

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