Neighbors in West Dallas have been fighting to remove a GAF shingle factory and Tuesday the company issued a statement suggesting it is willing to consider the idea.
The GAF website says the plant has been operating at that Singleton Boulevard location since 1954. It is surrounded by homes, churches and schools.
Truckloads of roofing shingles rolling from the plant demonstrate strong sales for GAF products.
Signs at nearby homes demonstrate strong opposition to the plant.
“Yes, it smells terrible. You can't stay outside long,” said Delores Burnes, who lives across the street.
Neighbors formed a group called “Singleton United” and joined with the environmental activist group “Downwinders at Risk.”
“We think the report we've compiled overwhelmingly shows there is adverse impact based on resident testimony as well as air monitoring,” said Evelyn Mayo with Downwinders At Risk.
Plan opponents say their research should be enough to launch a removal process for the plant, which they say was declared a "non-conforming" Dallas zoning use back in 1987.
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“They are living on bought time,” Mayo said.
GAF has a larger, newer plant in Ennis which the critics say produces a fraction of the emissions with far fewer neighbors. The GAF website says the Ennis plant opened in 1979.
Mayo said that plant has better equipment than the West Dallas plant.
“It’s 100% possible to do better but that’s not what we’re here to ask. We’re not asking them to do better. We’re asking them to leave,” Mayo said.
She claims existing control technology for this type of facility is not sufficient to protect the health and safety of neighbors in an urban setting.
Tuesday GAF provided a statement by email indicating it is now willing to talk.
“Understanding there are various possible paths forward, we are eager to work with the community and the city to find the right solution for the community, our employees, and the thousands of homeowners in Texas and the region who rely on our products every year," the statement read.
"The best way to ensure we arrive at a positive solution that meets the needs of all parties is for everyone to participate in this important conversation,” the GAF statement continued.
Neighborhood City Councilman Omar Narvaez provided a statement Tuesday saying he supports the neighbors' goal of removing the GAF factory.
“We are meeting later this month to go over the processes available and decide how to move forward. I am proud of the work we have done so far and will use every measure available to achieve this goal with both organizations for the greater West Dallas Community,” Narvaez said.
Neighbors said that the meeting is set for June 30.