Everyone ought to take a deep breath tomorrow and thank the folks at Downwinders at Risk and everyone else who has fought to clean up the cement kilns in Midlothian, south of Dallas. Because tomorrow, for the first time since 1986, not a single cement company in Midlothian will fire its kiln by burning hazardous waste. This is huge. Jim Schermbeck with Downwinders gives a little more background after the jump:
TXI announced that they were finishing the lay-offs surrounding their “indefinite shut-down” of the four wet kilns operating in Midlothian today. These are the only cement kilns still permitted to burn hazardous waste in Texas. This isn’t just TXI walking away from their obsolete wet kilns, it’s TXI walking away from their entire hazardous waste operation — an operation that began in 1987. Gifford-Hill (now Ash Grove) began burning haz waste in 1986 (and stopped in the early 1990s), and so yeah, first non-haz burning day in Midlothian since then.
We’re celebrating that fact tomorrow in Midlothian at the house of Sue Pope, the founder of Downwinders. In preparing for that party and gathering almost two decades of memorabilia, I realized again how important D has been in this fight, beginning with Rod Davis’ piece in 1993 or so, and of course, continuing up to the present. Whenever I’m asked about media coverage, or lack of it, I always mention that D has always been there — doing the kind of deep writing on the subject that the dailies should be doing but aren’t. Do you realize that neither the S-T or the DMN has EVER done a multi-part series on what’s going on in Midlothian? Again, our thanks to the magazine.