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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE JARVIS JOHNSON STANDS WITH THE COMMUNITY IN EFFORTS TO STOP CONCRETE BATCH PLANT IN DISTRICT 139
March 27, 2018… HOUSTON, TX … In a packed, wall to wall, auditorium, at the Acres Homes Multi- Service Center, Monday evening, Texas State Representative Jarvis Johnson , along with other invited State and City officials; including Mayor Sylvester Turner, joined the Greater Inwood and the Acres Homes communities in a meeting with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Soto Ready Mix, INC. regarding Permit #149713. Permit #149713, was under fire because it would authorize the construction of a permanent concrete batch plant in the Greater Inwood and the Acres Homes communities (District 139). Due to the fact that the area selected to build the plant is a residential area, and could , potentially, be the direct source of serious health and environmental issues, both communities were , understandably, concerned about the short term and long term effects of having Soto Ready Mix, INC. as a permanent fixture in the area.
The non-profit organization, Air Alliance- Houston, first contacted the office of State Representative Jarvis Johnson, regarding their concerns about the January 18, 2018 public notice that the Soto Ready Mix, Inc had applied for an Air Quality Standard Permit from TCEQ, that would authorize the construction of a
permanent concrete batch plant, located at 3411 De Soto, Houston, TX 77091. After informing Representative Johnson about the potential health and environmental issues associated with having a batch plant in a residential area, Representative Johnson immediately had his staff to contact the TCEQ to request a public meeting. A public meeting was necessary to make sure that the community was aware and had an opportunity to get a better understanding of what was going on within the District in regards to the building of the plant and the potential effects. Yesterday, at the public meeting , initiated by Representative Johnson, the community stood together in support of the best health and environmental conditions for their families and those in their community and said “NO” to the building of the batch plant in the Greater Inwood and the Acres Homes communities.
“ As the State Representative for District 139, my concern and my priority is to make sure that my constituents are always educated and empowered with information about our district. It was an automatic reaction, after seeing studies and research from Air Alliance- Houston about the potential health hazards, such as lung, colon, and stomach cancer; tuberculosis; heart and lung disease and the environmental issues with, road dust; nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc. that we ask for a meeting and allow those constituents , living in the affected areas, to have the opportunity to have their voices heard and to get their questions answered,” explained Representative Johnson.
After the public meeting, yesterday, the desire of the constituents of District 139, State Representative Jarvis Johnson and the City Of Houston, was to oppose the batch plant in the Greater Inwood and the Acres Homes communities; however, the final say will be dictated by whether or not TCEQ grants the permit, even after hearing the concerns and oppositions.
“ At the end of the day, I stand with my constituents and I greatly oppose the batch plant. And even though the city is opposed to the batch plant, as well, the batch plant was still given a building permit. So now we stand at the mercy of the TCEQ to not grant the Air Quality Standard permit; but the true dilemma is that, historically, the TCEQ has never denied an application in Houston, “ explained Representative Johnson, “ so we need a Plan B, so that the interest of District 139 and our affected communities are safeguarded and fully protected. In the unfortunate chance that the batch plant is still granted an Air Quality Standard
permit, my fight would then be to make sure that they must pass and prove that they satisfy the highest possible standards in order to have less of a negative impact on the communities that we have already established will be affected. It is my hope, as well, that after all is said and done, that the City will create an ordinance that will protect our neighborhoods from businesses like this, in the future, “ concluded Representative Johnson.