As TCEQ greenlights Aldine concrete batch plant, Harris County ‘red tags’ project for illegal construction

Company ordered to ‘cease and desist’ further work on the site

HOUSTON – The company behind a concrete batch plant in Aldine approved by TCEQ despite public outcry is facing accusations of illegal construction activities.

The Harris County Engineering Department said Avant Garde Construction Company/AGC Ready Mix violated the county’s floodplain regulations by “performing earthwork (grading)” without permits on the site at 10945 Eastex Freeway.

The county sent a notice of the violation to the company on April 14 and a second letter on May 24 when inspectors saw there was no corrective action taken.

“They cannot just start moving dirt on a county site without getting the permit,” said Dr. Melton Rahman, head of the county’s engineering department.

Rahman says the company’s unpermitted work was creating potential flooding problems in an area already plagued by chronic flooding.

“We don’t want anybody putting illegal fill on our flood plain. Our bayous and lakes are already undersized the more we drain all dirt can wash downstream and damage somebody else’s property,” he said.

Rahman says Avant Garde Construction applied for construction permits two times in December 2021 and both applications were rejected because they were incomplete.

He says the county has not received a subsequent application and has not heard back from the company about the violation.

According to the timeline provided by Harris County, the unpermitted work was happening before TCEQ finally approved the company’s air quality permit on May 16.

Meliton Gomez, president of Avant Garde told KPRC 2 News he is working with Harris County and was in the process of re-starting the permit application process after hiring new engineering company who he said had been in touch with the county.

Gomez denied any illegal construction activity saying his company was only using the property as a “laydown yard” to store equipment and materials and had been “maintaining” drainage ditches.

Rahman says the company has until June 17 to correct the violations or the case will be referred to the Harris County Attorney’s Office for enforcement.

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