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Gunter Clean Air raising concerns after recent pollution report on nearby concrete batch plants

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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GUNTER, Texas (KXII) - According to Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining, also known as TRAM, Gunter has 11 permitted concrete batch plants. They said at least one more is seeking a permit nearby, causing some residents concern about their health.

“It’s not that we’re ever trying to shut down concrete production, but it needs to be done safely,” Said Deirdre Diamond, the lead advocate for Gunter Clean Air and a registered respiratory therapist. “We have the science to show that it is not being done safely in our community.”

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a batch plant can only produce 6,000 cubic yards of concrete a day per site.

Diamond says one site with five plants is each producing 6,000 cubic yards.

“When that happens, the amount of pollution that they produce ends up emitting past our property line,” said Diamond.

Each of the five plants is considered a separate site by the TCEQ.

But Diamond said she’s concerned about what that means for pollution in Gunter.

According to a report done by Air Resource Specialist, a professional air quality dispersion modeling group, the level of pollutants near these sites PM 2.5, PM10, and NO2 all exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

On top of that, TRAM said 3,500 trucks drive by Gunter schools servicing these plants.

“All of that pollution ends up going past our children, and that is a significant risk to their respiratory, their neurologic function,” said Diamond.

She said she requested a public meeting with State Senator Drew Springer, and it was denied.

Springer said he is still open to it.

“I needed to get with TCEQ to better understand where they were on the situation as well as the city leaders,” said senator Springer. “So, I’ve now gone out and visited with the city manager, with the mayor. I’ve done a visit of it and have had a conversation with TCEQ, and we’ll have a meeting in the near future.”

“Please listen to the science,” said Diamond. “Look at the science. Look at the impact to our community. Look at our children. Our children. They play on these playgrounds, and truck after truck after truck goes past our school every day.”

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