EPA Warns of Fish Contamination in Donna Canal

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009 - 10:26am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm

If you know someone who fishes in the Valley, listen up there's a warning about eating dangerously contaminated fish.

Last August, employees from the Environmental Protection Agency scooped up thousands of fish containing cancer causing chemicals. EPA project manager, Valmichael Rios says the Donna canal is on the agency's national priority list because of polychlorinated bi-phenyls or PCB's.

The waters of the Donna canal and reservoir are not contaminated, but the sediment within the water is and because the fish eat it, they're very poisonous. The state and EPA are warning fishers at the canal that the fish are not safe to eat.

Rios says, people believe cooking the fish makes them safe but that's not true because they contain a chemical not a bacteria. PCB's exposure can cause liver damage in adults and learning and developmental disabilities in children. The EPA workers will be here for a week and hope to capture 10,000 of the toxic fish. Rios says it is still not known the source of the contamination or how long it will take to clean up the canal.

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