Air Alliance Houston statement on Soto Ready Mix’s announcement to withdraw its application to build a concrete batch plant in Acres Homes
For immediate release – January 22, 2020
Air Alliance Houston is thrilled that the Soto Ready Mix Company has withdrawn its air permit application to locate a concrete batch plant in the Acres Homes – a community that is already beset with elevated asthma and heart attack rates that are significantly higher than many other Houston neighborhoods.
For years, communities in the Houston Region, and throughout Texas, have been fighting the placement of concrete batch plants near our homes, schools, parks, and other places that they don’t belong. The withdrawal of this permit application represents what we can achieve when residents, advocacy groups, and elected officials act collaboratively toward a common goal.
However, it is unfair that we all continue to bear the burden of fighting to protect our own health from environmental hazards because we have a state agency, the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, that has failed abysmally at doing its job to protect communities. Residents should not have to continue to defend themselves against each air permit application that threatens the health, safety, and quality of life of their neighborhoods on a case-by-case basis.
The next step will be to take this fight to our State Legislature in 2021 – to develop stronger air permitting requirements that prohibit hazardous facilities near the places where we live, work, learn, and play.