Comment to the Port Houston Commission on Clean Equipment in Army Corps Segments of Project 11

Public Citizen shared concerns that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not commit to use clean equipment to reduce pollution in Ship Channel communities.

By Elizabeth Slomba, Organizer

These comments were delivered orally by Public Citizen’s Organizer Elizabeth Slomba at the February 24, 2022 meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston.

Hello commissioners, and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak at today’s meeting. My name is Elizabeth Slomba and I am an organizer for Public Citizen, a public interest organization that is also part of the Houston Healthy Port Communities Coalition.

As a resident of East Houston, I am also speaking on behalf of my community to express concerns regarding the newly announced transition of dredging contract responsibilities from the Port of Houston to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Our concerns lie within the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers has not agreed to adopt the same standards that Port Houston recently adopted to help reduce emissions, and ensure cleaner dredging vehicles to reduce the associated health risks of pollution in neighboring communities. 

Segments 4, 5, and 6 of Project 11 will have health impacts to environmental justice communities who are already bearing the brunt of pollution. It is taking a toll on people’s health.

We urge you, the Port, to embrace your influential role as a leader. As the non-federal sponsor of the Ship Channel, you should urge the Army Corp of Engineers to adopt the same standards in order to protect local communities and the environment.

USCG photo by PA2 James Dillard