Energy & Environment

Concrete Batch Plant In Northwest Houston Causes Health Concerns For Nearby Residents

Mayor Sylvester Turner led a protest against further construction of the plant.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a hearing on January 23 to decide if Soto Ready Mix can receive an air quality permit allowing further construction of its concrete batch plant in Northwest Houston.

City and state officials are standing with residents near the Highland Park Community Center in Northwest Houston, in protest of a pending permit for a concrete batch plant.

Soto Ready Mix has already begun operation across the street from the park, directly next to resident David Williams’ fence.

“It started with small trucks and dump trucks. Then all the sudden they started bringing in cement trucks,” he said. “Our health is at risk, I planned on being here the rest of my life but it’s not going to work.”

A wooden fence is all that separates his home from the site. He said cement dust has already started to sprinkle on plants in his front yard, and there is greater concern if the company is given an area quality permit. The plans are for the site to become a fully operational plant in the near future.

According to health officials, nearby residents are six times more likely to get asthma because these plants pollute the air. Without zoning regulations, Soto Ready Mix was given approval by the state government to begin building the site.

“The dust is flying all the time,” said resident Lillian Simpson.  “I cough because I have respiratory problems.” 

She said that she has trouble staying outside for long periods of time due to respiratory problems created from the dust emitted by the trucks that go by.

Soto Ready Mix was cited 34 times in 2019 for violations. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a hearing on January 23 to decide if the company can receive an air quality permit allowing further construction.

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