Air Quality to Improve Tomorrow in North Texas

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.

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Comments

5 responses to “Air Quality to Improve Tomorrow in North Texas”

  1. Dallasite says:

    So, what are we going to do with hazardous waste now?

  2. Brown Bess says:

    # Dallasite @ October 13th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    So, what are we going to do with hazardous waste now?

    Well, for starters, it will not be sent to 1960’s cement kilns never built for the job of waste disposal and with no modern pollution control equipment.

    There’s less haz waste in geneeral than there was in the 80’s and 90’s and the stuff that is stil produced can go to fully-permitted haz waste incinerators and landfills made specifically for the task.

    This is a good thing.

  3. Don in Austin says:

    In a former career I was up close and personal with those stacks performing emissions testing. Though sympathetic to the Downwinders and with personal beliefs that line up more towards the treehugger side of things, the use of flammeable hazardous waste as fuel in a cement kiln always seemed to me like a good way to get rid of the stuff. Test results prooved that out at TXI where the destruction removal efficiencies were high. If I had lived in the vicinity I would have been far more concerned with how the material was transported to the plant (truck, rail, etc)than what the stack emissions were. I’m guessing that the inefficiences of the wet process cement manufacturing eventually outweighed any fuel savings and disposal benefit gained by burning the “chemical fuel.” Less haggling with the downwinders is just a nice byproduct benefit.

  4. Spamboy says:

    Thank. God!

    One of the sickest days of my life is when I had to spend the night in Midlothian. The guk in the air set off my allergies like nuclear ragweed. I’m glad to hear some progress is being made in “The Cement Capital of the World”.

  5. fred says:

    How about the 700,000 fraudulent vehicle emission inspection stickers in our area?