San Jacinto River Coalition
Houston, Texas

From Community Crisis to National Collaboration

What's in that site?

Toxic wastes containing dioxins which have been linked to increased risk of cancer and autoimmune illnesses in the area.

How'd those toxins get there?

A set of pits were built in the mid 1960’s for disposal of paper mill waste along the San Jacinto River.

When is it going to get cleaned up?

Currently, a clean up plan has been approved by the EPA which involves excavation of over 212,000 cubic yards of contaminated material.

Is there a seafood advisory?

Yes, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed elevated rates of cancer in connection with the San Jacinto River contamination.


The Progress We’ve Made With The San Jacinto River Coalition

Our success is attributed to a balance of constructive work with government agencies and serving as a community voice for those who’ve suffered decades of toxic exposure.
San Jac 2021

How can the community get involved?
A major part of the Coalition’s success comes from the support of the communities it serves. Over the past 5 years, regular monthly meetings have been hosted to educate residents and engage them in the ongoing Superfund regulation and cleanup process. The importance of this cannot go overlooked as many of the residents in attendance are those who are currently struggling with health issues as a result of the waste pits. Their ongoing support has proven the power of galvanizing a community by educating them consistently about the safety of the environment they live in.


What is the San Jacinto River Coalition?
For many years the Waste Pits along the San Jacinto River were a hidden crisis posing great danger to nearby communities. The abandoned, dioxin-filled pits tainted local seafood and the river for decades. In 2015 the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed elevated rates of cancer in children and people of all ages living near the Pits. THEA’s San Jacinto River Coalition, which is a community led group working to educate the public about the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site. In the past several years the Coalition has worked to transform major public policy in the Greater Houston Area.


Working with the EPA
This residential support is further emboldened by the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited us to serve on the Waste Pits Community Advisory Committee. Most recently, the EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) for the clean-up of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site’s southern impoundment. This order allows the clean-up to move into the construction phase of the superfund process, which begins with creating work plans, procuring materials, and securing contractors. These steps are anticipated to take place over the next year, setting the groundwork for construction to start in the fall of 2022.

Image by EPA

We are honored to represent your voice

by providing multiple technical reports on behalf of your community. Your voice emboldens our vision, here is what we’ve accomplished together:

In late 2016 we submitted 55,000 petition signatures with over 94% in support for removal of the waste material.

On October 11, 2017, The EPA issued their long-awaited Record of Decision (ROD), which unequivocally ruled in the Coalition’s favor ordering a full remediation of the site costing nearly $115 million.

On April 9th, 2018, the 3rd Anniversary of THEA’s founding, the EPA announced an agreement with the Responsible Parties for the design phase of the Superfund process.

Looking Forward

These milestones are just part of the great achievements that can take place when communities and government cooperate for the betterment of the environment. We need your support to continue the work we do with the San Jacinto River Coalition. We have earned respect from government agency officials and from federal, state, and local policymakers – now we need your donation to help us keep our boots on the ground.


Join our team at an upcoming talk or town hall.

There are no upcoming events at this time


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