|HOUSTON – Earlier today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced Bold Actions to Protect Communities Following the Journey to Justice Tour.Last November, Administrator Regan visited the Fifth Ward, Kashmere Gardens, and the Houston Ship Channel. He spoke with Mayor Sylvester Turner and residents about air and water pollution from nearby facilities in the community.
“I thank Administrator Michael Regan for his quick follow-up actions. During his recent visit to Houston, he had the opportunity to hear directly from people and tour the neighborhoods of most significant concern,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “For our Houston residents, I want them to know the partnership between the EPA and the City of Houston is focused on them. It is very encouraging to have the Administration share our concerns and know the names and faces of those affected. We look forward to working with our federal partners and continuing the close cooperation with Administrator Regan and his team.”
The following information is included in the the EPA report:
In the Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens area, EPA announced completion of a review of a proposed Union Pacific Railroad permit renewal and corrective actions that govern cleanup of contamination at the Houston Wood Preserving Works site. EPA intends to submit comments to TCEQ laying out concerns and recommendations to ensure that permit terms and corrective action goals address the concerns of community members, who are disproportionately impacted by pollution.
EPA is also monitoring TCEQ’s installation and operation of additional air monitors. These air monitors will supplement the existing monitoring network and capture the pollution that residents in these communities face. In addition, on January 20, 2022, Administrator Regan spoke with Mayor Sylvester Turner to discuss the continued commitment between EPA and the City of Houston to work together to ensure the community’s concerns are addressed and the health and safety of residents is protected.
In response to the call for improved accessibility to language and interpretation services, EPA is establishing a partnership with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services ( T.E.J.A.S) under the Beyond Translation (BT) Plus program to improve communication, especially when it comes to information on environmental risk and enforcement. Under the partnership, EPA will develop local strategies to address air toxics in communities, provide better transparency regarding enforcement, and improve access to risk management plans.
November 2021: Mayor Turner visits with EPA Administrator Regan and Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens neighbors