Clear Lake - Ecological Services
Southwest Region
"Conserving the Nature of America"

Last updated: May 8, 2012

Environmental Contaminants

When hazardous chemicals accidentally or deliberately enter the environment, they can produce harmful effects in all living things -- plants, wildlife, fish, and people.   Sources of contaminants affecting the natural resources on the upper Texas coast, include oil spills affecting wetland areas and dependent wildlife, past industrial discharges of contaminants such as PCBs and dioxins that continue to make fish unsafe for wildlife and human consumption, and former wide-spread use of pesticides (such as DDT -- which nearly exterminated the bald eagle -- and that remains in the environment).   The Clear Lake Field Office's Environmental Contaminants (EC) Program operates within the context of numerous Federal laws, regulations, and guidelines, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA/Superfund), Oil Pollution Act (OPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The goals of the Clear Lake Field Office's EC Program are to:

  • Identify and investigate contaminant problems affecting fish, wildlife, and their habitats, and
  • Prevent further losses and degradation of those resources.

The Clear Lake Field Office's EC Specialists fulfill these goals through activities such as conducting scientific investigations to document and remedy contaminant-related problems for fish and wildlife, monitoring long-term contaminant trends, participating in oil and chemical spill clean-ups, consulting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce impacts to federal trust resources at Superfund sites, and ensuring that polluters restore and compensate for environmental damage.   Through these actions, the Service helps to ensure a healthy environment for fish and wildlife -- and, ultimately, people as well.


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