COPY-EPA begins taking fish from polluted canal

Associated Press - August 22, 2008 3:45 PM ET

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun catching all the fish in a South Texas canal.

It's a preliminary step toward cleaning up 1 of the most toxic sites in the Rio Grande Valley.

The federal government has known since 1993 that the sediment of the main canal south of Donna was polluted with cancer-causing PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. But the source hasn't been found, even years after studies confirmed the original finding.

Last fall, the canal became the Valley's first site to join a national priority list of contaminated areas at the front of the line to receive federal funding for cleanup. The list is part of the Superfund cleanup process.

The Monitor of McAllen reports that while the EPA started removing fish and keeping new ones from entering the canal this month, it's still awaiting appropriations for cleanup.

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