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Mayor Turner, others oppose Concrete Batch plant expansion

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and other officials held a news conference last Tuesday, to express their opposition to the expansion of a concrete batch plant in Acres Home.

ACRES HOME – Mayor Sylvester Turner and other elected officials and residents stand united against a concrete batch plant expanding near city park in Acres Home.

Mayor Sylvester Turner joined other elected officials, representatives from the city of Houston and residents living near a proposed concrete batch plant to show their opposition to the pollution-causing facility on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 10:30 a.m. at the Highland Park Community Center 3316 De Soto, Houston, TX 77091.

In addition to Mayor Turner, residents and environmental groups, confirmed speakers are:

• Lt. Cheryl Southwell, HPD’s Differential Response Team

• Dr. Loren Hopkins, chief environmental officer for City of Houston Health Department

• Marissa Aho, City of Houston chief resilience officer

• U.S . Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

• Sen. John Whitmire, Dean of the Texas Senate

• Rep. Jarvis Johnson, Texas House of Representatives.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee had the following comments regarding the expansion of the Concrete Batch plant:

“I share the concerns of Acres Homes residents about the significant adverse health effects this plant could have on neighborhood residents. Cement manufacturing plants, like the kind proposed for DeSoto Street, produce fine particulates that can be aspirated into the upper respiratory system and can invade the lower respiratory system, triggering asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease respiratory distress.

“Moreover, a study published in the European Respiratory Journal in 2011 identified a link between dust generated during cement manufacturing and inflammation of existing lung disorders and a contributing factor in the development of lung disorders.

“I have long been opposed to the TCEQ’s grant of an air permit application for a batch plant at 3411 DeSoto Street, in Houston. In June, I wrote to the Air Permits Division of the TCEQ concerning a letter it sent to residents of Acres Home, a community located in my congressional district. In that letter, I wrote to strongly oppose the construction of a proposed concrete batch plant at this location. In that letter, I also wrote to the Commissioners of the TCEQ to grant the request of Acres Homes residents to hold a formal hearing to hear directly from residents regarding the Soto Ready Mix Application.

“This is a vital issue of significant importance. Nothing less than the health and safety of these residents is at stake and I urge the TCEQ to heed the concerns of the citizens and take note of the significant public safety hazards inherent in the plan.”