Letter to the editor
Does Mineola really want a concrete batch plant across the street from the Mineola Nature Preserve and The Derby, Frisby Golf, Mineola’s equestrian campground and trails? I don’t think so, and here are some of the reasons why...
Letter to the editor
Does Mineola really want a concrete batch plant across the street from the Mineola Nature Preserve and The Derby, Frisby Golf, Mineola’s equestrian campground and trails? I don’t think so, and here are some of the reasons why:
No one wants to live near a concrete batch plant, but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) lets it happen frequently, from an article by Allyn West.
Behind the fences, mountains of sand, rock and aggregate are loaded around the clock into concrete trucks. The dust generated is a kind of air pollution called particulate matter that can penetrate deep into the lungs. Because TCEQ grants 24-hour operation permits, heavy diesel trucks can line up, waiting to pick up many loads every day, emitting even more pollutants like black carbon and nitrogen dioxide.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also a problem at concrete batch plants. VOCs irritate the eyes and respiratory system, cause shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, skin problems and impair the memory. Higher concentrations of VOCs can damage the liver, kidney and brain.
Concrete batch plants are required to control air pollution. A vacuum system is supposed to suck the dust into a baghouse, designed to filter out particulates. The problem is that baghouses have to be maintained and emptied regularly. When done improperly, they end up making a big mess.
TCEQ rarely returns to plants once permits are granted to make inspections, leaving companies to clean up after themselves, until somebody from the community makes complaints about emissions. Without air monitors, residents might not know they’re breathing one of the deadliest kinds of air pollution. Particulate matter is linked to serious health conditions, including reduced lung development in children, higher rates of asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and cancer.
VOCs were breathed by coal miners and 911 first responders and they are dying of respiratory diseases. I don’t want to join them.
Please let our voices be heard. Notify the TCEQ Chief Clerk at 512-239-3300 and ask for a public meeting on this permit #164044.