Residents in Houston’s Manchester neighborhood say nearby Valero plant is causing toxic air

HOUSTON -- A Valero refinery plant in Houston's Manchester neighborhood has residents fuming over what they are calling toxic air.

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality, Valero filed an amendment to an air quality permit to authorize existing
emissions of hydrogen cyanide from the fluid catalytic cracking unit.

Residents who live near the plant say the hazardous air pollutant is causing short- and long-term health issues affecting their nerves, heart and reproductive systems.

Texas Environment Justice Advocacy Services says the permit is allowing Valero to pump more pollution without protection for public health and safety in vulnerable communities.

However, Valero says, this is all a big misunderstanding and it isn't increasing emissions.

One concerned mother said Manchester is a dangerous place to live, especially for young children.

"Our houses face the refinery and the smell is way too strong. I'm sick as well as my kids we both suffer from asthma", said Denise Nieto.

Valero is asking for the public's input at a meeting later this month.