The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has taken an unprecedented step of proposing rule revisions that streamline the permitting of concrete batch plants in residential neighborhoods. These rule changes include the exemption of the consideration of health-harming crystalline silica from the permitting process and remove certain community distance buffer requirements. Crystalline silica is a known carcinogen and inhalation hazard that can lead to silicosis, an irreversible, progressive, and fatal lung disease.
Read about the Tarrant County concrete batch plant hearing that triggered these revisions HERE.
This is a highly technical and complex issue that affects communities throughout the state, yet TCEQ has set a very short comment deadline of June 29th. In addition, the TCEQ is limiting the public’s opportunity to comment on this rule revision by holding just one 30-minute public question and answer session the day before the comment deadline.
The TCEQ communication we are asking you to submit:
- Request an extension to the comment deadline, so community members and advocacy groups can develop meaningful and constructive comments that improve the concrete batch plant permitting process.
- If you live or have lived near a concrete batch plant, let TCEQ know how it has affected you, your neighbors and your community, and give your perspective on how the permitting process can better work for the communities they are supposed to serve.
- Ask TCEQ to place a moratorium on issuing new CBP standard permits until or unless a comprehensive protectiveness review for crystalline silica is performed and made public.
The more personalized these messages are, the more persuasive they are.