Busload demands more aggressive environmental protection
AUSTIN – East Aldine Management District staffers joined local residents at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday, June 22, as they urged the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission to reform the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to better protect Texans from environmental hazards.
Chief on the minds of East Aldine residents who testified at a hearing was a company’s pending application to the TCEQ for permission to construct and operate a concrete “batch” plant in the neighborhood, adjacent to James Driver Park and a residential subdivision. The state agency has granted preliminary permission for the company to move ahead, but further hearings on the application are pending.
One of the group, Ruben Salazar commented: “Today I joined my fellow East Aldine community advocates and representatives in Austin to testify before the Sunset Advisory Commission. We asked the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to make drastic changes to its protocol for granting permits to industrial facilities, specifically Concrete Batch Plants to ensure that effects on infrastructure and residents’ quality of life that may arise from the creation of these plants be taken into consideration when granting permits. Our community has been a victim of environmental racism for far too long. It’s time for change. Thank you to everyone who took part in planning this very long, tiring, yet informative and uplifting trip. Let’s keep up the work!”
This year the TCEQ is up for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission, which periodically evaluates the performance of all state agencies. The “sun sets” on any agency found to be no longer necessary. Written comments about the TCEQ may be submitted by Monday, June 27.
The East Aldine District thanks the residents for attending the hearing as part of a one-day roundtrip and urges all Texas residents to express their opinions about state government to their state representatives and/or at the many public hearings.