Plan To Expand Texas Highway Stalled Over Environmental Racism Concerns

"Addition would displace more than 1,000 disproportionately Black, brown and low-income households"

"Texas is crisscrossed by thousands of miles of freeways, but a Houston-area county is suing the state to stop one of them being expanded, arguing the air pollution and displacement will primarily harm minority communities.

Advocates say the plans are an example of environmental racism, when harmful infrastructure is built among disadvantaged people. The Biden administration has joined the fight, and the Federal Highway Administration – headed by the transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg – recently sent a letter saying that the plans could violate residents’ civil rights.

The addition of several lanes and plans to elevate segments of the I-45 highway in North Houston would involve the displacement of 1,079 disproportionately Black, brown and low-income households. The widening of the highway would also displace 341 businesses, five churches and two schools, contributing to increased levels of air pollution, traffic congestion and flooding concerns."

Aliya Uteuova reports for the Guardian March 23, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 03/24/2021