HIGHLANDS, Texas (AP) — An agreement has finally cleared the way for cleanup at a Superfund site in Texas known as the San Jacinto Waste Pits. But an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and The Associated Press has found that dioxin damage has already spread far beyond the site.

At the Highlands Acid Pit on August 31, 2017, the No Trespassing sign on the barbed-wire fence encircling the 3.3-acre Superfund site barely peeked above the churning flood water from the nearby San Jacinto River. (credit: CBS News)

The news organizations pieced together years of University of Houston research that shows more than 30 hotspots have been located in sediments along the San Jacinto River, the Houston Ship Channel/Port of Houston and into Galveston Bay.

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The affected areas are alongside parks and residential neighborhoods with thousands of homes.

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State health officials haven’t tested residential wells or yards. And details about the hotspots haven’t been made public by Texas environmental regulators, who spent more than $5 million in federal money to pay for the research.

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