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‘Harvey is leading to alarming pollution in Houston

‘Harvey is leading to alarming pollution in Houston

Photo: Hollandse Hoogte

From petrochemical plants in Houston leak as a result of hurricane Harvey thousands of tons of pollutants. In districts in the south-west of the city is three times as much ozone-measured as permitted by law.

Also, there would be the alarming amounts of benzene, hexane, and sulfur dioxide released from factories, among others, ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron. A large part of these factories are under water during the heavy rainfall as a result of hurricane Harvey.

Scientists of the authoritative Center for Biological Diversity to warn according to The Guardian, residents of the city and rescue workers to look to the inhalation of smog in many areas. Especially the elderly, children and people with asthma would soon, may be affected by the polluted air.

Also the drinking water in the city, danger of becoming infected by all the pollution. The city of Houston is definitely a city that for decades, struggling with air pollution. The air in the city has, since the introduction of the ‘Clean Air Act’ in 1970, never the national standard in this area met.

Poor neighborhoods

The factories are located mainly in the vicinity of the poor neighborhoods where Latinos and African-Americans live. Environmentalists try the problems that Houston sky suffering for a long time to bring attention. The chemical plants defend themselves, however, with the argument that not to prove that the symptoms which some of the inhabitants suffer from the direct result of the emissions of harmful substances.

Ozone is a toxic compound that is very harmful if it is inhaled. Also the other mentioned substances can, in the longer term a lot of consequences for the health: of symptoms like headache and shortness of breath to an increased risk of cancer. Some residents would now suffer as a result of the new contaminants.

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The most remarkable images of tropical storm Harvey

Leaking chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Texan could have two hundred employees used to the quality of the drinking water in Houston good to keep an eye on. The EPA could Saturday to say nothing about the impact of all the leaking chemicals from the factories in the poorer districts.

The organization had to know that thirteen so-called ‘Superfund sites’, contaminated sites that are within the foreseeable future need to be cleaned under water by hurricane Harvey. From aerial photos, there are no additional risks have shown, according to EPA. Further inspections of the locations still to wait; by the floods have inspectors ‘Superfund sites’ not yet able to reach.

Water level drops in Houston after floods

Now the water level in the Texan city of Houston slowly, more and more residents return to their homes.
© AFP

It is estimated by the tropical storm forty thousand homes destroyed.
© AFP

In some parts of the city is the water still high.
© AFP

In other areas, the water subsided.
© AFP

A lot of people still stay in noodopvangen.
© AFP

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Cuts

President Donald Trump has, since its inauguration considerable cut in the budget of the EPA as the ‘Superfund site’program. Trump visited Saturday for the second time, the state of Texas. This time visited he and his wife, Melania, however, affected. During their previous visit, earlier this week, they did not. This was the Trumps on a lot of criticism.

The Republican has Friday, the Congress proposed provisionally converted to 6.6 billion euros in emergency aid to provide. Texas governor Greg Abbott said his state may have more than 105 billion needs to get back on after Harvey.

Death toll

About the death toll by tropical storm there is still lack of clarity. Officials fear that in the city of Houston and surrounding areas at least fifty people to the life. At least forty cases have already been confirmed.

Although it stopped raining, there are in Houston still areas where the water is dangerously high. There are still people being rescued by the floods stuck.

See also:
Background: Why are the effects of hurricane Harvey so great?

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