People, Environment

Eco Rules Suspended for Harvey Debris Cleanup

Eco Rules Suspended for Harvey Debris CleanupEco Rules Suspended for Harvey Debris Cleanup

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality filed a request on Aug. 28 to waive environmental regulations around solid waste disposal, including permitting regulations, transporting standards and pollution control standards, to accelerate the cleanup process in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Bloomberg BNA reported. Governor Greg Abbott granted this request soon after. The debris heading to Houston’s 27 area landfills is to be sorted into five categories—woody debris, construction and demolition debris, household hazardous waste, electronic waste and “white goods” such as refrigerators and air conditioners. However, there are concerns that materials will not end up sorted due to the magnitude of waste that needs to be managed. Andrew Dobbs, program director with the Texas Campaign for the Environment, said Houston officials should take this opportunity to prioritize hazardous waste cleanup and develop a disaster debris management plan in case of a similar catastrophic incident in the future.


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