HOUSTON – Neighbors and city of Houston officials claim Soto Ready Mix is the source of serious environmental and health issues in Acres Homes.
Residents said they are being backed by major political players as they work to stop the planned expansion of the concrete company. They said the company is a hazard to their health and their property values.
Soto Ready Mix sits on the corner of T.C. Jester Boulevard and De Soto Street, just feet away from several homes. The company is asking the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a permit to build a permanent concrete batch plant on the site. At a news conference on Tuesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner vowed to do everything in his power to stop the plant.
“The disrespect and the arrogance of facilities of this kind being situated in the neighborhood are unacceptable in the city of Houston,” Turner said.
Since June 2019, the city officials said three different departments have issued 34 citations against Soto for code and ordinance violations.
Homeowners Donna and David Williams bought their property on De Soto Street in 2001, believing another home would be built next door, but in 2015, Soto Ready Mix bought the property.
“We started noticing one dump truck, another cement truck and suddenly a fleet,” Donna Williams said.
She said her property and her health was impacted almost immediately.
“Cement runoff, flooding, all of the palm trees have a white film. We’ve had to increase breathing treatments,” Williams said.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Jarvis Johnson and Sen. John Whitmire are all calling for TCEQ to deny Soto’s permit.
The owner of Soto Ready Mix did not respond to KPRC’s request for comment. TCEQ is holding an administrative hearing on the matter in Houston on Jan. 23.