WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it has recovered 517 containers of “unidentified, potentially hazardous material” from highly contaminated toxic waste sites in Texas that flooded last month during Hurricane Harvey. The agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there’s a threat to human health.
AUSTIN (AP) — Federal and state officials have teamed up to recover and test around 300 overturned and sunken boats from coastal waterways affected by Harvey. In a statement Saturday, the Texas General Land Office said it is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to test the vessels for oil leaks.
DALLAS (AP) — The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee says victims of repeat flooding should consider Harvey’s devastation a sign from on high. U.S. Rep. Jep Hensarling, a Republican from Dallas, said on CNBC during a segment on flood insurance Thursday that U.S. taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for at-risk homes that have flooded over and over again.
NEW YORK (AP) — More than 1,000 families whose homes were swamped by Superstorm Sandy are still fighting with the U.S. government over their flood insurance payouts, nearly five years after the storm struck the East Coast. The FEMA-run National Flood Insurance Program paid out billions of dollars to policyholders in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere following the 2012 storm. But the disaster also gave rise to complaints from people who said they were shortchanged by insurance adjusters
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The head of the Federal Communications Commission has been to Texas and Florida in recent weeks to learn what lessons hurricanes Harvey and Irma have to offer about how to improve the nation’s emergency communication systems during natural disasters. Ajit Pai says his agency, working with Congress and state and local officials, can translate those lessons into policies that ensure communications networks and 911 systems remain reliable during disasters
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas correctional officials have stopped using solitary confinement to punish prisoners. The Houston Chronicle reports that the September 1 change affects about 75 prisoners in punitive solitary. Jason Clark, a state Department of Criminal Justice spokesman, says the department determined it can operate effectively without using solitary confinement as a punishment. Clark says inmates will have other punishments, such as loss of commissary privileges.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas residents are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, which served as a cattle pipeline from ranches in Texas to railroads in Kansas. The trail was considered an economic lifeline for Kansas because it helped promote the railroad and made ranching profitable. Historians compare the Chisholm, which was a north-south trail, to byways such as the Oregon and Santa Fe trails, which ran east-west.