The legacy of contamination at Kelly Air Force Base continues 12 years later

Saturday, July 13 community leaders and residents will rally at Port San Antonio to demand a process for community engagement and economic development that does not continue a legacy of contamination for the surrounding neighborhood.

July 13 at 10am
Port San Antonio Entrance
Intersection of General Hudnell Dr. & Billy Mitchell Blvd.

Since its closing in 2001, Kelly Air Force Base, now known as Port San Antonio, has continued to pollute and burden the surrounding neighborhoods without adequately addressing the lasting health and environmental impacts on the community. Port San Antonio, which was redeveloped as an industrial complex, rail and airport, and international trade zone, has continued to bring polluting trucks and dangerous cargo into the area, while unearthing underground toxins that are still a remnant of the Air Force Base’s hazardous dumping practices.  

Currently Port San Antonio brings thousands of trucks and trains carrying toxic chemicals through the community; however, residents no longer have a formal process for engagement or accountability measures, and even lack an emergency evacuation plan. More recently, the Port has been a commercial base for the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, industry, resulting in highly toxic sand being moved through the area. With the opening of Port San Antonio the environmental remediation process long-associated with Kelly Air Force Base seems a thing of the past; however, the reality is that groundwater contamination still exists, asthma and other illness rates remain disproportionately high, and pollution in the area is increasing. Compounding this reality is the fact that the neighborhoods that surround the historic Kelly Air Force Base still lack proper infrastructure, including street improvements, sidewalks, and proper drainage, let alone access to adequate health care resources.

As the 12th anniversary of Kelly Air Force Base's closure nears, community residents will rally to reinvigorate the process for evaluating proper environmental remediation and potential impacts on health and safety, and hope to foster sustained engagement of the surrounding neighborhood.

For additional information and media inquiries, please contact Diana Lopez at 210.535.7060.

Homepage image: Oil drip at storm sewer. Kelly Field, Texas by Otis Historical Archives of “National Museum of Health & Medicine” (OTIS Archive 1)