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EPA Adds Patrick Bayou Site to Federal Cleanup Priorities List

Release Date: 9/5/2002
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the Patrick Bayou site in Deer Park, Texas, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced today.  Sediment contamination has been detected in the wetlands bordering the Bayou and poses a threat to downstream fisheries.  Because of the listing, EPA can now begin to clean up the site.

      "Listing this site is an important first step in ensuring that public health and the environment will be protected. The EPA and the TCEQ are committed to work together to clean up this site quickly and efficiently," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

      TCEQ Chairman Robert J. Huston said, "The TCEQ stands ready to assist the EPA in addressing problem sites such as this one. Continued cooperation between our agencies is essential to clean up all contaminated properties, particularly those located in environmentally sensitive areas of our state."

      The Patrick Bayou site consists of contaminated sediments within the Bayou, a portion of the East Fork tributary, and associated wetlands.  Patrick Bayou is one of several small bayous of the Houston Ship Channel located within the lower portion of the San Jacinto River Basin as it enters Galveston Bay in southeast Texas.  

      For several years, Patrick Bayou has received an accumulation of permitted industrial wastewater discharges, municipal wastewater treatment plant effluent, and storm water runoff from adjacent industrial facilities and nearby urban/residential areas.  These discharges are suspected to be the primary sources of the sediment contamination.  

      The upper portion of the Bayou and several small islands within it contain extensive wetland vegetation affording a natural habitat for waterfowl and migratory birds.  Significant populations of fish and marine mammals have been documented near the mouth of Patrick Bayou.  Local fishermen fish for blue crab and catfish along the Houston Ship Channel even though human consumption has been restricted by the Texas Department of Health (no-consumption advisory for children and women of childbearing age) due to high levels of dioxin.  

      The EPA Superfund program works closely with state agencies to clean and restore uncontrolled contaminated properties. Superfund cleans sites when the work required is beyond the resources of state and local agencies.

      More information about this site is available on the EPA web site at