Concrete Batch Plants are increasingly becoming a problem in Houston. We’ve started tracking public comment opportunities for concrete batch plant permits in the Houston region. We’ve also worked with local elected officials who have helped their communities participate in permit challenges and other comment and hearing opportunities.
It seems like nobody wants concrete batch plants in their neighborhoods. Mayor Sylvester Turner has submitted written comments opposing permits for several concrete batch plants in Houston neighborhoods. In the last few months, we’ve also heard comments opposing permits from from Rep. Dr. Alma Allen, Rep. Harold Dutton, Sen. Borris Miles, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Rep. Armando Walle, and others.
In Austin, several bills have been filed to address this industry, permitting, and public participation. Rep. Armando Walle has filed two bills, HB 2086 and HB 2088, relating to permits for concrete batch plants. Rep. Walle has been heavily involved in a challenge to the permit for Integrity Ready Mix in East Aldine. That challenge now includes a civil suit filed by affected neighbors.
One complaint of neighbors of Integrity Ready Mix is that the company often operates in the middle of the night. HB 2088 would restrict the hours of operation of concrete batch plants in Houston to daylight. This is a commonsense restriction in a city with no zoning.
HB 2086 would require permit applications for concrete batch plants to include a more detailed plot plan. The plot plan is a map of the proposed facility showing the location of equipment, pollution emission points, and property lines. Often in Houston, we see permits with very vague plot plans that make it difficult or impossible to determine whether setback requirements are met. A more detailed plot plan would help to ensure that facilities are built in accordance with their permits, and the law.
These bills are a great move for pubic health and we thank Rep. Walle for filing them. If you agree that we need to regulate the concrete batch plant industry in Houston, please call your representatives and tell them you support these bills.