For decades, federal, state and local officials knew that the fish in Donna Lake in the Rio Grande Valley carried a dangerous level of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). And for decades, residents in the surrounding community fished in the lake and often ate or sold the fish.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted the lake Superfund status in 1993 after a study found that the fish in the lake were toxic and linked to birth defects in infants in the area. Still little was done until recently, when the EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality began remediation and clean up in January.
Texas Housers talks to Josué Ramirez who helped lead a local campaign in the Valley to amplify the voices and concerns of residents and demand action that was long overdue. We discuss why this is an issue of environmental racism and how colonia leaders from A Resource In Serving Equality and their children rallied to draw attention to the issue, educate their community and earn a seat at the table to shape a solution.
Listen to Episode 26 here or wherever you get your podcasts.