The toxic dump known as the San Jacinto River waste pits contains thousands of tons of cancer-causing Dioxin-laced pollution. The companies responsible for the waste have insisted for years that the Dioxin is safely contained within an "armored cap" of plastic and rock. But the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed on Monday that divers have discovered a previously undetected breach - a substantial subsurface hole that has exposed the river to contamination.
Residents who leave near the site say they see the rift in the dump as an ongoing danger and proof that they've been misled by Waste Management and International Paper about the safety of the Super Fund Site.
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, who has been fighting to force the dump's complete removal, calls the alarming discovery clear evidence that the waste pits cannot withstand heavy weather.
"The storms that we get are monumental and here we have a breach and there hasn't been a major storm go over that site," said Ryan. "The only real solution is removing that Dioxin."
The EPA ordered the responsible parties to present a repair plan by Dec. 21.