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Posts published in “Day: August 16, 2022

EPA to review TCEQ Permit criteria

HARRIS COUNTY ATTORNEY CHRISTIAN MENEFEE at a press conference last week, announcing that the EPA will conduct an investigation of TCEQ permit criteria. Also present were Adrian Garcia, Rodney Ellis, Armando Walle, Ana Hernandez, John Whitmire, and other county leaders.

County Attorney cites excessive Concrete Batch Plants in Minority areas

HOUSTON – (August 9, 2022)— Today Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will investigate the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ)’s concrete batch permitting criteria and processes under federal civil rights laws. The EPA initiated the investigation in response to complaints submitted by the Harris County Attorney’s Office and Lone Star Legal Aid under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EPA sent a four-page letter to Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee’s office saying it plans to investigate the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) after receiving two complaints – one in April and one in May. The complaints allege the TCEQ has been discriminatory with public participation, based on race, regarding its concrete batch permit process.

“The EPA stepping in and investigating Texas’s environmental agency is a big step in protecting people who live in Harris County from toxic pollution. Harris County is littered with concrete batch plants, and they’re primarily in Black and Brown communities. The people who live by these plants, including children, can face many health risks, including respiratory illness and cancer. We must do all we can to protect them,” said Harris County Attorney Menefee. “State leaders in Austin are supposed to keep communities safe from this toxic pollution. Yet time and again we see the state pass laws that make it easier to put polluting plants in our communities. And the Texas Commission on Environment Quality does nothing to stop it. I’m glad the EPA is stepping in where the state is dropping the ball.

“People in our community know the harms of these plants all too well. We have 140 concrete batch plants throughout Harris County and they are hyper-concentrated in areas that have a disproportionate amount of Black and Latino residents and folks from low-income households,” Menefee said. “Every resident in Harris County has the right to breathe clean air, regardless of their zip code.”

East Aldine BIG program expands to include Demolition

East Aldine District’s Economic Developer director Lance Dean, explains the new BIG Demolition program at last month’s Business Luncheon.

East Aldine District held their quarterly Business Luncheon last Thursday, July 28 at the district offices. Attending were local business persons and speakers for Lone Star College, BakerRipley, and East Aldine District.

Lance Dean of East Aldine District described an expansion of the BIG (Business Improvement Grant) program that now includes demolition of substandard structures, to improve the appearance of the district and enhance the value of properties. Dean said the 50-50 matching grant program is meant to encourage eligible property owners, businesses or individuals, to demolish structures for future development or quality of life improvement.

Grants are available up to the total amount of $10,000, or 50% of the project cost.

Civic Club holds “Safety Pop-Up” Event in East Oakwilde

Pictured L-R, Armando Cardona, Benito Garza, Sgt. Terry Garza, Gloria Gomez, Marina Flores Sugg, Shirley Ronquillo, Guadalupe Jimenez, Rene Ortiz, Joanna Ortiz, Francisca Hernandez.

The Green Forest Civic Club hosted its first “Safety Pop-Up” event in the East Oakwilde Subdivision on Saturday, August 6, 2022. The event was the idea of the Civic Club’s Special Events Committee chairperson and Board Director, Shirely Ronquillo.

The purpose behind these “Pop-Up” events is to “bring our resources to our residents’ doorsteps and create a safer community for all of our residents,” said Civic Club President, Ruben A. Salazar.

Among those in attendance was Sergeant Terry Garza who was invited to provide East Oakwilde residents with crime prevention and safety tips. Sergeant Garza also engaged in conversation with residents regarding several crime and nuisance issues East Oakwilde residents are facing.

This was the first of many “Pop-Up” events the civic club has in its plans. Shirely Ronquillo says that she wants to bring these events into each of the various subdivisions in East Aldine. “This is an opportunity to not only encourage residents to become more proactive when it comes to crime prevention, but also to try and improve resident involvement in the community overall,” Salazar said.

He also says that the civic club is already planning for its next “Pop-Up” event for sometime in October of this year.

COVID-19 Novavax Vaccine Now Available at HCPH Sites

Houston – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is pleased to announce that there is a new option for people to get their COVID19 vaccine. On July 13, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine for emergency use. Following approvals of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), HCPH is now offering the COVID-19 Novavax vaccine to residents. Novavax is a two-dose primary series for individuals 18 years of age and older given 3 weeks apart.

Novavax uses a different technique than other COVID-19 vaccines such as those from Pfizer and Moderna. Instead of using mRNA, which provides the instructions for your body to create the COVID-19 spike protein that in turn induces your body’s immune response, Novavax’s vaccine injects the small protein itself, that your body detects and that triggers your body’s immune response. The Novavax vaccine is based on a well-established method of vaccine development that has been used for years for other vaccines such as the Human-papillomavirus, Hepatitis B, flu, and Shingles vaccines.

Lawsuit filed after concrete truck falls from overpass, injures 3 and kills boy

Concrete Mixer Truck fell from Beltway 8 onto car driving below on frontage road. A 22 month old boy was killed, 3 others injured.

HOUSTON — A family whose SUV was crushed when a concrete-mixer truck toppled off the East Beltway and landed on their vehicle is now seeking compensation in the wake of an apparent freak accident that killed a 22- month-old boy. Nicolas Resendiz was identified as the 22-month-old child who died in the Aug. 5, 2022, crash on the East Beltway

His aunt, Esmerelda Resendiz, described little Nicolas Resendiz saying, “He was just a happy little boy. He wasn’t shy like his sister. He would go to anybody. He would smile with you and laugh.”

The family is having a hard time accepting what happened was real.

“It’s still hard for us to process everything. Doing every day, daily things, with him not being here, or seeing one and not the other,” Esmerelda Resendiz said.

The lawsuit was filed by Jennifer and Maria Resendiz, two of the SUV’s occupants, against National Ready Mix LLC of Kingwood, which is the company that owns the truck involved in the Aug. 5 crash.