‘The people won’: Concrete batch plant in Acres Home withdraws application
By: Isaiah Robinson
HOUSTON — Acres Home residents and elected officials are celebrating a victory after a concrete mixing company withdrew its application to build in the northwest Houston neighborhood, one day before a judge was set to hear arguments over the permit.
Soto Ready Mix planned to build a concrete batch plant near neighboring residents and a community center in the historic neighborhood.
The concrete mixing company requested an air emissions permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to build a batch plant.
The residents of Acres Homes fought relentlessly to stop that, garnering the attention of many elected officials, including Texas Rep. Jarvis Johnson, Sen. John Whitmire and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee to help fight the permit.
Opposers said the plant has already caused pollution and major health care concerns for residents.
“The emissions of a batch plant are well-documented to be the silent killer,” said Sen. John Whitmire at a press conference in early January.
According to health officials, the concrete facility is producing a fine particulate matter that is 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and nearby residents are six times more likely to get asthma because the plants pollute the air. The particles could also contribute to premature death.
In 2019 alone, Soto Ready Mix was cited 34 times for violations, according to an official at the press conference in early January.
The TCEQ granted a hearing in October, allowing residents to make their case before a state judge.
Plans for that hearing, which was scheduled for Jan. 23, ended.
Johnson spoke to Armando Soto, the owner of the company, and negotiated the pulling of their request for the batch plant, in addition to relocating its trucks.
“It was a good move, but it wasn’t enough,” Johnson said. “Stopping the permit is good, but moving the trucks out of the community completes the victory.”
According to Johnson, the owner is looking for an industrial property to place his trucks, but for the time being, the cement-mixing trucks will be placed on a lot off of TC Jester.
The motion filed by Birch, Becker & Moorman, LLP of Austin said Soto determined that withdrawing the application was in his best interest after conversations with “interested persons.”
“Soto understands that the preliminary hearing in this proceeding is scheduled for (Thursday) and believes that the time and expense of holding the preliminary hearing would be a waste of resources for all parties since Soto is seeking to withdraw its Applications,” the motion read. “Soto has no intention of moving forward with the Application and any further steps in furtherance of the Application are unnecessary and would not be the best use of any party’s time and energy.”
The pulling of the applications has brought the two-year fight to a close.
“This was a terrible proposal that should’ve never been proposed,” Whitmire said. “I’m excited and pleased for the citizens of Acres Homes because the people won today.”
Elected officials, residents protest against ‘harmful’ concrete plant in Acres Homes
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
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