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Toxic Aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey Plague Houston

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Toxic Aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey Plague Houston
EPA/ Staff Sgt. Daniel Martinez

The toxic aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey continue to plague Houston as the city rebuilds three weeks after the devastating storm. Testing conducted by the New York Times earlier this week found instances of E. coli contamination 135 times the legal limit in standing floodwaters around the city.


ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Thursday that a private firm hired by environmental groups found "concerning" levels of benzene in neighborhoods near a Valero refinery. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said it conducted air monitoring tests after Harvey, but it did not release any specifics.

The Trump administration's proposed budget cuts are coming under new scrutiny as the agency's Houston lab, which was marked for closure, becomes a key player in post-Harvey cleanup.

For a deeper dive:

E.coli: New York Times

Benzene: Texas Tribune, NPR

Houston lab: San Antonio Express-News

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By Bob Jacobs

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