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EPA Launches Civil Rights Investigation Into Texas Agency

Aug. 11, 2022, 2:47 PM

The EPA’s external civil rights office is investigating the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s criteria for permitting concrete batch facilities, the agency confirmed on Thursday.

Harris County, which encompasses Houston and is the biggest county in the state, “is littered with concrete batch plants, and they’re primarily in Black and brown communities,” Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said in a statement.

Two separate but similar complaints are being investigated jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency’s External Civil Rights Compliance Office, according to an EPA spokeswoman.

The complaints allege that TCEQ changed its standard permit for concrete batch plants—which mix together ...