Homeowners Sue Port Authority Over Noise, Light Pollution

More homeowners who live near Galveston Bay could join a lawsuit against the Port of Houston authority. Two homeowners filed suit this week, saying the round-the-clock activity at the Bayport container and cruise ship terminal is making it impossible to find any peace and quiet on their property. David Pitman reports.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Lemroy and Yushema Simon, bought their house in Shoreacres in 2005, two years before the Authority opened the Bayport Terminal a half-mile-away.   The Simons say the constant noise and bright lights are interfering with their right to quiet enjoyment of their home. 

The Authority has offered to give homeowners within a certain radius of the terminal $40,000 for better soundproofing.

But the Simons' attorney, Jim Moriarity, says that's too little, too late. 

"My sense is is that the noise emissions and the light and the pollution emissions from this site is so bad, is that the Port Authority is going to have to come in and buy out many if not all of these homes."

The Simons' lawsuit doesn't ask for that.  Rather, it's seeking more information on how the Port Authority tested the noise impact on the neighborhood, and what specific steps the Authority has taken to reduce the light and noise pollution.

"And I don't see the slightest signs that the Port Authority's done anything.  And people have been complaining for years about the notion that you're going to make too much noise for the neighborhood."

Moriarty expects more Shoreacres homeowners to join the lawsuit against the Authority after a meeting set for Thursday evening at Bayshore Elementary School.  The Port Authority has declined to comment on the pending litigation.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...