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About Velasco

The City of Houston Former Velasco Incinerator 

The Velasco Incinerator is 4.56 acres of vacant land at the 800 Block of Velasco Street in Houston's 2nd Ward, located just north of Navigation Blvd and south of Buffalo Bayou. 

 

The site was formerly operated as a municipal incinerator facility by the City of Houston from the 1930s through the late 1960s. Municipal waste from all over Houston was brought on-site to be incinerated. The byproduct of incineration was ash and remnants that did not burn, like glass and brick. This ash and fill material was spread out on the property during the 40+ years of operations, resulting in the deposit of up to 35 feet of incinerator waste on the property, covering approximately two-thirds of the site.  

Site buildings were removed by 1995, except for incinerator stacks, a concrete building foundation, and a sanitary sewer lift station. The site is currently heavily covered in native grasses and trees and is bounded on all sides by chain-link fencing. The site has remained vacant and blighted for decades due to the complexities of cleaning up the environmental hazards on the property. Environmental testing since 2006 has demonstrated that this waste contains elevated levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and furans.  

The Velasco Incinerator has been the subject of community concern for over 40 years, dating back to Dr. Robert Bullard’s groundbreaking research from 1979, which demonstrated that 100% of city-owned landfills and 75% of city-owned incinerators were in neighborhoods of color.

The Velasco Incinerator Project is an opportunity to rectify an environmental hazard and transform a blighted area into a community asset. With this funding, we can progress toward a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future for the 2nd Ward and the entire City of Houston.

Draft Site Plan

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Site Diagrams

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Velasco site conditions in a geological context.
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