The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Monday night will hear from concerned West Dallas residents trying to keep a concrete batch plant from coming into their neighborhood.
The area already has several such plants.
The proposed site is located along Singleton Boulevard, in a neighborhood that has been Debbie Solis’ home her entire life.
“I care about this area. Growing up in this community and not having a voice, I realized you have to get involved to make a difference,” she said. “We do not want to have anything to do with cement. We have so many cement plants out here. We’ve been fighting to get them out of West Dallas.”
Solis said she has reached out to residents nearby to warn them of Lattimore Materials Corporation’s intention to build a temporary concrete batch plant here.
Solis expressed concern for families and children who live nearby.
Eladio Martinez Elementary School is on the north side of the proposed project,
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“We don’t want our children to be sick,” Solis said. “Asthma is the leading cause of sickness in this area.”
Lattimore Materials Corporation issued the following statement Monday.
"Lattimore Materials Corp. (LMC) is committed to being a good steward of the community… Producing concrete directly at the construction site will reduce pollution and eliminate truck traffic that would otherwise occur if the concrete were being produced at an offsite location. The portable concrete batch plant also has state-of-the-art controls that will mitigate dust issues."
The environmental advocate group Sierra Club of Dallas has joined the fight against the proposed plant.
“Concrete batch plants are known sources of harmful emissions including particulate matter and other criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants and other things that are known to cause irritation of the lungs and health problems for especially children and the elderly, but residents who are in proximity,” Kathryn Bazan of the Sierra Club of Dallas said.
There are more than 800 concrete batch plants permitted by the TCEQ in Dallas-Fort Worth, including 20 in Dallas’ District 6, according to Bazan.
“There are seven in West Dallas and five within a 1.5 mile radius of this proposed facility,” she said.
Lattimore, she says, has another plant just down the road.
It is not clear how long the proposed plant would be in operation.
But because the project is deemed "temporary," it does not need to go through the city of Dallas for approvals. The city council will not get a vote in the matter, Bazan said.
The TCEQ granted a hearing for concerned residents.
The agency will hear public comments during a meeting Monday night, review the comments and consider whether any changes will be required of the project.
“If no changes are required, then they’ll issue the permit,” Bazan said.
The process could take months.
The Sierra Club of Dallas is, however, hopeful their effort to work closely with the city will result in action on environmental racism and equity in the city.
“And to address the zoning that would allow a concrete plant to come in without any hearings to the public and operate,” Bazan said.
Solis said she feels ignored by companies and officials.
“This would not be happening in Highland Park. This would not be happening in the Park Cities area. This would not be happening in North Dallas,” she said. “Anything in the south, they just dump it here. Who cares?”