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EPA Proposes Patrick Bayou Site to Federal Cleanup Priorities List

Release Date: 6/14/2001
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to add the Patrick Bayou site near Deer Park, Texas, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), EPA and Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) announced today. Sediment contamination has been detected in the wetlands bordering the Bayou and poses a threat to downstream fisheries.

     "Adding this site to the Superfund list makes federal dollars available, allowing EPA and the TNRCC to speed their cleanup and meet the agencies' commitment to protecting public health and our environment," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

    TNRCC Chairman Robert J. Huston said, "The TNRCC 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.

     EPA will seek public comments for 60 days on adding this site to the NPL. Those comments will be addressed before the Agency makes the final decision about adding the site to the NPL. During this public comment period, the Agency will continue to develop cleanup plans so that actual work may begin as quickly after NPL listing as possible.

     The public comment period will end on August 13, 2001. More information on making comments is available on the EPA web site at

     Additional information about the Patrick Bayou site is available on the EPA web site at