Gunter concrete pipe plant begins construction without permit, residents respond
GUNTER, Texas (KXII) - South Texas company, Ameritex, has started construction just outside Gunter for their concrete pipe plant, but residents say they don’t have a permit yet. They’re worried about their health and their town’s future.
“We understand that the growth is coming up this direction, but by the same token they are right next to people," said Linda McAllister, member of the Gunter Clean Air committee.
The citizens of Gunter haven’t stopped their fight against the Ameritex concrete plant proposed this summer. This week, the company began construction on their 330 acres of land purchased just outside city limits.
“A total of about 700 questions and comments have been filed with the TCEQ, and what they did was they had an open hearing," said McAllister.
But citizens committee, Gunter Clean Air said the company started without a permit.
“Not only are they building without a permit, they haven’t even applied for the correct permit they should have," said McAllister.
TCEQ confirms that they have not issued a permit to Ameritex. They are currently working on a formal response to the comments submitted.
“What’s concerning to Gunter and Grayson County residents is the fact that they mobilized a lot of heavy machines, they’re moving a lot of dirt hoping maybe if they build it, the permit will come," said Trent Lewis, committee member.
They say since construction began on Wall Street Road, the air quality has gone down.
“We’ve just been keeping TCEQ up to date on the progress on the site. We’ve been contacting our state and local representatives, letting them know what’s happening. And we continue to push for accountability and transparency," said Lewis.
“The bottom line was a lot of people don’t want that plant here," said McAllister.
People like John Hudson and his wife Diana who settled in Gunter 7 years ago to retire.
“What I’m most afraid of is health risks for the citizens of Gunter and surrounding communities. The traffic, the noise pollution, the light pollution 7 days a week, it’s non-stop. And once they move in we’re gonna be second-class citizens," said Hudson.
He said since Monday, 100 trucks a day pass by his home.
“This is gonna change the landscape for the city of Gunter. I said it before, they don’t know what’s coming.”
He said it will only get worse.
“Gunter Texas is gonna be known as a dirty little concrete town. It’s not good for our growth. I’m all for growth and progression, but not this," said Hudson.
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