SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Residents in the Rey Jaime subdivision are living under poor air conditions and have been for several months. This is all due to the mil white mineral manufacturing company next door.
Adhlemy Sanchez has lived in the neighborhood for several years and said she can not take her family on walks in the area or let her daughters play outside.
“It’s just nonstop, it’s really become a large nuisance both with our air pollution and the emissions that they’re doing,” Sanchez added. “If you see it firsthand you see that we’re covered literally in dust, we wouldn’t want to shut down anybody but if that’s what it takes, so be it because at this point our health comes first.”
Residents reached out to state and city leaders to help them get answers and invited lawmakers to see the air pollution and what it is doing to their homes and quality of life.
“We need to set a speedy recovery because the neighbors are being affected, and it’s been going on for years,” Linda Macias, the newly elected City Commissioner for District 2, said.
Representatives from Brownsville Public Health visited the neighborhood, as well as the State Representative for District 38, Erin Gamez. Gamez took a moment to apologize to residents for having to live in these conditions.
“I’ve received multiple complaints of individuals saying ‘Erin I am having difficulty breathing.’ My car is overwhelmed. I can’t even enjoy the inside of my house I have to change our air filters two times a week.” Gamez said.
Gamez said she is taking action and is in contact with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality after the ongoing investigation uncovered multiple violations into the mil white company.
“I am having letters communicated to the TCEQ going when can we have an end in sight? TCEQ was given all of the lawful tools that they need from the Texas Legislature to have authority to act on this matter. So to find out what’s your next plan administratively to remedy this and if not, which agency are you going to hand it off to next?” Gamez added.
ValleyCentral will continue to follow this story as it is developing.