Read the full story in the Washington Post.
Not long after Hurricane Harvey battered Houston last summer, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt stood on the banks of the San Jacinto River and surveyed a decades-old toxic waste site as divers checked whether the storm had unearthed dangerous chemicals.
Days later, he ordered two corporations to spend $115 million to excavate the contamination rather than leaving it covered. His dramatic decision put Pruitt in unfamiliar territory: Environmental activists cheered, while the targeted firms protested that the directive was not backed by science and could expose more people to health risks.
Pruitt’s approach to the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, as well as to several other Superfund sites around the country, stands in stark contrast to the industry-friendly moves on everything from pesticide exposure to power plant pollution that have defined his first year at EPA.