Natural disasters are made worse by greedy abuse of the environment such as found in Houston - pouring concrete over marshes (which absorb flood water) and chemical plants in the midst of residential areas. Then too, there's poor cleanup of Superfund sites. When we rescue folks from natural disasters, should we also have to pay more for areas with poor planning, disregard of the environment, and capitulation to greed? From the article:
Superfund sites are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as highly polluted areas requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous materials and contamination.
Most came about due to lax regulations that allowed the discharge of very hazardous and often carcinogenic chemicals. The EPA was ordered to create a National Priorities List of such locations, and to oversee their cleanup.
Dozens of these Superfund sites were in the footprint of the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey. Another 22 of these sites exist in Florida. During Harvey, no attempt was made to secure Superfund sites from flooding and, as water receded, the EPA was very slow to respond.
Since then, there has been much pressure on the agency to come up with a plan to secure these sites in Florida, to give people fair warning and have a post-Hurricane Irma plan.
While it appears that the EPA has learned some lessons from Harvey, the agency remains understaffed and underfunded for the full scope of the potential public health crisis.