The over-concentration of concrete batch plants in Houston’s communities of color and low-income neighborhoods is disrupting the health and peace of local residents. It’s time for this to change.
There are about 180 concrete batch plants in the Houston area, more than in any other area in Texas. These plants emit cement dust and other particulates into the air, which can cause respiratory problems for nearby residents. In addition, they create significant noise pollution and generate truck traffic on residential streets.
Due to the absence of zoning laws in Houston and lack of state regulation, concrete batch plants can be sited almost anywhere in the city. Mostly, these plants tend to cluster in low-income, minority communities. A number of Houston neighborhoods have multiple facilities in close proximity to residents, exposing residents to adverse cumulative impacts.
What we’re doing
To better understand the health impacts of concrete batch plants on communities, we advocate for fence line air monitoring around problematic facilities in order to gather data on emissions and their harms.
To ensure compliance with air permits and to hold facilities accountable to communities, we advocate for regulatory agencies to proactively inspect existing concrete batch plants.
Our state-level policy advocacy calls for legislation that: creates stronger protections for communities by limiting where concrete batch plants can be located, strengthens transparency of the public notification and participation process by requiring companies to notify residents directly, and allows for greater enforcement power for local officials over plants that pose health risks.