Harris County Attorney files lawsuit against TCEQ challenging pending changes to air quality standards for concrete batch plants

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Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of Harris County against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The lawsuit challenges an amendment to the commission’s air quality standard permit for concrete batch plants.

Many of Houston’s concrete batch plants operate according to standards specified via the TCEQ’s air quality standard permit. Pending changes to the permit’s standards “threaten local residents and the environment,” Menfee said.

Menfee said the pending changes will exempt concrete batch plants from pollutant emission standards and distance limitations set by the Texas Clean Air Act.

“The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is not doing enough to protect residents and ensure we have clean air,” said Menefee. “There are approximately 130 concrete batch plants in Harris County, and the placement is disproportionally found in underserved neighborhoods. For example, there are several plants in Aldine and South Houston, while there are none in River Oaks. Your zip code should not determine whether you get to breathe clean air. Every Harris County resident deserves to be protected from harmful chemicals.”