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Texas Takes Bold Steps in Overhauling Concrete Batch Plant Regulations for Environmental Well-being

Hello Green Air Solutions Community,


In a momentous stride, Texas has taken significant steps towards reshaping the concrete batch plant (CBP) landscape with new regulations adopted by TCEQ on January 24, 2024. Dive into the details of the adopted amendments here on the TCEQ website.

 

Amendments in Response to Public Outcry:

The catalyst for these amendments lies in the large number of concrete batch plants in the Houston area, often situated near residential neighborhoods. The resulting adverse effects on air quality and public health triggered numerous complaints, leading Harris County officials to file a lawsuit against TCEQ for its previous permit regulations. Federal regulators have also launched investigations into alleged discrimination in the permitting process.


Key Amendments and their Impact:

The TCEQ's amendments, as part of Non-Rule Project No. 2022-033-OTH-NR, encompass a range of modifications addressing operational practices, setback requirements, production limits, and dust emission controls. Noteworthy changes include:

 

  1. Increased Buffer Zones: The new rules mandate an increase in buffer zones around CBPs, acknowledging the concerns raised by residents living in close proximity to these facilities.

  2. Reduced Production Limits: Production limits have been significantly decreased by more than 1.5 million cubic yards per year, aiming to curtail the overall environmental impact of CBPs.

  3. Stockpile Size Constraints: For the first time, restrictions on the quantity of materials companies can stockpile on site have been introduced, promoting more controlled and environmentally conscious practices.

  4. Enhanced Dust Control Measures: The amendments allow new options, such as vacuum trucks, to help CBPs reduce dust emissions, addressing the health concerns associated with crystalline silica dust. 

  5. Machinery Setback Increase: Setback requirements have been doubled in certain regions, including Harris County, emphasizing the need for greater distance between plants and residential areas.


This article in the Houston Chronicle provides some insight into the public response and ongoing concerns.


While these changes represent a step in the right direction, continued vigilance and potential future revisions may be necessary to ensure continued progress in protecting public health and the environment from the impacts of concrete batch plant operations.


#STOPJ7 Update: Waiting on TCEQ

In the midst of these positive changes, we are still awaiting an update from TCEQ to learn the date of our contested case hearing for #STOPJ7. Your continued support and engagement are crucial as we navigate this process.

 

Get Involved!

As we settle into the new year and the ongoing battle against J7, remember that your involvement is essential. Together, we can weather any storm and continue the fight for our neighbors and our community.


Volunteer: Join us here.

Share: Spread the word online - just as the new year brings fresh beginnings, lets reignite the interest in this fight!


Stay resilient, stay committed, and stay tuned!


Green Air Solutions

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