Houston approves $5 million to relocate residents in cancer cluster area
The city of Houston has sanctioned $5 million to facilitate the voluntary relocation of residents residing near the Union Pacific Railroad site, a cancer-contaminated area in Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens. Mayor Sylvester Turner clarified that residents are not compelled to leave but now have the choice to relocate if desired. The relocation initiative, involving collaboration with city departments, the Houston Land Bank, Community Land Trust, and Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, aims to assist those within a two to three-mile radius of the polluted site. This decision follows a 2019 report by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services outlining abnormal cancer patterns and high childhood cancer rates in the vicinity. Union Pacific awaits EPA approval for further soil sample testing to inform necessary remediation actions.