From the Texas Tribune:
GUNTER — From the big glass windows in her dining room, Linda Hunter has seen her view transformed from grand, green pastures to a row of side-by-side concrete batch plants.
The 59-year-old, who lives on her 224-acre ranch, says the plants have disrupted what used to be a tranquil area. The bright lights from the nearby plants keep her up at night, she says, and so does the rumbling of trucks that start passing her house as early as 2 a.m. And when Hunter tries to tend to her garden, dust from the plants stings her eyes and irritates her asthma.
“The only time I breathe [easily] and my blood pressure is down is on Saturday and Sundays,” Hunter said. Those are the days the concrete batch plants typically don’t operate.
Over the past five years, Hunter said, she has made numerous complaints to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about dust clouds and water runoff from nearby plants into her property.
Under a bill filed in the Texas Senate, residents like Hunter could face fines if they make three or more complaints to environmental regulators in a calendar year and their complaints don’t result in an enforcement action. Senate Bill 471, filed by Republican Sen. Drew Springer of Muenster, doesn’t specify the amount of the fine but says it would be “less than or equal to the cost” of investigating the complaint.
Under the bill, TCEQ would decide when to pursue fines against residents and the amount of the fine.