Pearland’s lawsuit against landfill must stop
At the House of Charity, we have dedicated ourselves to helping underprivileged children in low income and poverty stricken communities. We have helped children in need from India to
Morocco to our own backyard in Houston, which is why I write today. It has recently come to our attention that the plight some communities in Fort Bend County currently endure may get worse. Some of these communities have poverty rates approaching 30 percent.
The City of Pearland, in neighboring Brazoria County, is currently litigating the Blue Ridge
Landfill in an attempt to shut down the business – one of the largest in Fort Bend County.
Members of the Shadow Creek Ranch community, a very wealthy community within Pearland, developed their neighborhood around the existing landfill in the early 2000s. Many of the homes in the area exceed $1 million in value, and the homeowners have filed numerous complaints about odor nuisances, which has compelled Pearland’s city council to attempt to shut down the operation.
On the other side of the landfill, however, there are a number of less fortunate communities.
Through community benefit agreements, Fort Bend County receives millions of dollars in taxes, tipping fees, and other sources of revenue from the landfill. Since 2008, they have received over $4 million in tipping fees alone and many of these communities have written letters to their local newspaper and their county commissioner opposing Pearland’s lawsuit.
The fact is, some of these towns rely on the revenue from the landfill to fund their schools, police departments, city maintenance, etc. Underfunded schools and police departments will be exacerbated, and thousands of disadvantaged children in Fort Bend County who already struggle will be made worse off due to an “odor nuisance.” It should be noted that towns such as Arcola and Fresno, who have written letters over this conflict, reside right next door to the landfill and experience the same odors, if not worse.
This is shameful. Thus far seven different mayors in Fort Bend County have written letters opposing Pearland’s actions. Is Pearland fully aware of the consequences of their actions? There are children in poverty less than 10 miles from Pearland! Is this how we are to conduct business, without any apparent concern for the well-being of the less fortunate? We hope this letter may shed some light on this conflict and that the City of Pearland will take notice.
Executive Director, House of Charity