Bill Aims to Protect Communities of Color from Polluting Concrete Facilities

Bill Aims to Protect Communities of Color from Polluting Concrete Facilities

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Concrete crushing plants, which recycle concrete from demolished roads and buildings, can emit plumes of fine dust, worsening nearby residents’ asthma and other respiratory illnesses. On Tuesday, a Senate committee considered proposed legislation that aims to protect Texans, particularly communities of color near the facilities, from those health effects.

Concrete crushing facilities are already prohibited from operating within 440 yards of schools, homes and places of worship. Senate Bill 793, sponsored by Senator Borris Miles, a Democrat whose Houston district has six such facilities, would expand that restriction to include outdoor recreational areas such as parks and playgrounds.

“Community members at work and at play are exposed to particulate matter, which exacerbates asthma and increases heart attack and stroke rates because it carries pollutants that travel to the heart and into the bloodstream,” Latrice Babin, an environmental toxicologist at the Harris County Pollution Control Services Department, told lawmakers on the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee.

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