Remove the waste: A river in an area prone to flooding and hurricanes is no place to store toxic sludge.

The science is complicated but one area official is in a good position to evaluate what makes the most sense. Mike Talbott, the retiring head of Harris County Flood Control District, has more than 30 years' experience in Harris County fighting floods. He let his strong views be known in an Aug. 9 letter to the EPA, "The highly toxic waste at the site, in this major river's floodway and subject to extreme forces of flood flow, tides and storm surge, should not be allowed to remain there," he wrote as reported by Chronicle reporter Mihir Zaveri ("Official urges feds to remove toxic waste pits" Page A3, Aug. 19).

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