Air Alliance Houston is laser-focused on ensuring that everyone can breathe clean air and lead a healthy life. We are beginning the new year by re-stating that Houston needs to work for everyone — every color, every income, every faith, every child, every family, every community — and that starts with actions that respect our shared home.
For the past several years, Air Alliance Houston has been working diligently with communities, including Acres Homes residents, and City of Houston leadership to fight the placement of concrete batch plants near homes, schools, parks, churches, and other sensitive areas.
We are encouraged by Mayor Turner kicking off the new year by taking direct and necessary steps toward addressing environmental justice issues, including concrete batch plants, in Houston communities and we applaud his announcement that the City of Houston will soon establish an Environmental Justice Working Group. Air Alliance Houston has been advocating for the establishment of such a committee to advance environmental justice in Houston and we will continue to push our elected leaders to ensure that we eliminate the long history of communities of color and low-income neighborhoods shouldering the burden of adverse environmental, health, and economic impacts from the overconcentration of harmful facilities.
Earlier today, in front of the Highland Park Community Center in the Acres Homes community, Mayor Turner delivered an energetic and forceful message about the inappropriate siting of industrial facilities that emit harmful air pollution – specifically concrete batch plants – stressing that these facilities do not belong in neighborhoods, where they can have a disproportionate effect on children, older adults, and people already experiencing health inequities. Furthermore, Mayor Turner emphasized that intentionally siting these facilities in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods is shamefully unacceptable.
We are optimistic about this new commitment to address environmental justice issues systematically and prepared to support the efforts of the Environmental Justice Working Group to ensure that fairness, equity, and science are the foundation upon which Houston builds a more equitable and sustainable path forward.