Assessing Chemical contamination risks in Corpus Christi water supply
Partners: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and City of Corpus Christi
Challenge: Chemical contamination in Corpus Christi’s water supply (completed)
Resources: Determine health risks and action level
Project Period: 2016
“The water situation in Corpus Christi in December 2016 was a good example of cooperation between Texas and EPA and the success we have when all work towards solving an environmental issue.” – TCEQ Bryan W. Shaw (former Chairman)
In December 2016, EPA ORD scientists, in coordination with Region 6 (South Central U.S.), responded to a request for assistance in Texas after an asphalt emulsifying agent, Indulin AA-86, contaminated Corpus Christi’s water supply. Toxicity information along with treatment options to remove this chemical from water was lacking. ORD researchers provided assistance early in the response concerning decontamination approaches that might be suitable for use in removing the contaminant from the system. In addition, EPA helped dissect and understand the toxicity of the chemical and possible risks associated with ingestion of contaminated water and the water-soluble salt from the product. Texas state agencies, TCEQ and the Texas DSHS, along with ORD researchers and their colleagues across EPA worked together to establish a health-based action level for the contaminant and supported an immediate need to protect public health.