Ten-Year Renewal For Midlothian Cement Kilns

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, whose name would make George Orwell blush, voted 2-1 for the extension, turning down a plea for a public hearing. This is depressing but not unexpected news. (After all, the commissioners were appointed by Rick Perry.) In 2005, we published this investigation into the Midlothian cement plants.  In 2007, we followed-up on Dallas’ worsening air quality. Last December, the Star-Telegram went through data compiled by USA Today and found Midlothian schools among the most dangerous to children’s health in the nation.


Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...









View All

View All


17 responses to “Ten-Year Renewal For Midlothian Cement Kilns”

  1. El Rey says:

    God hates the metroplex.

  2. JC says:

    Sad news for the general health, quality of life and environment of our greater community.

  3. This is a shocker. This is really bad for people in that area that have to breathe such awful air their entire lives.

  4. JC says:

    Since humans don’t seem to matter, I hope someone writes about how the pollution from kilns kill pets and animals. I’d love to see PETA launch an assault to shut’em down.

  5. RayRayRay says:

    No hyphen there on followed up.

  6. John says:

    @Michael Davis
    It’s all the people in North Texas that have to breathe the awful air.

    If you are going to capitalize your name, Ray Ray Ray is the proper way to spell it. Conjoining like you do is very Woodrow Wilson, wrong side of the tracks, had a sub every period from grades 9-12.

  7. amanda says:

    The story linked from 05 is disturbing. Whereas it’s easy for the cement plants to deny culpability in clusters of illness, let’s not forget this happens all over the country. Little pockets of industrial pollution…and we have no idea what impact they have, just a lot of “anecdotal evidence” by way of human suffering.

    It’s an abuse of public trust.
    My mother breathes through a trach tube (since 1982), so she is impacted greatly from the poor air quality. There are as many as 60 days she is unable to leave the house. The residents in the immediate area are impacted by the toxic burning, and the rest of us are downwind.

    Smokey Joe and Slick Rick don’t want public input. It’s an ego blow to have to face cancer patients, Downs babies, etc. Is it too much to ask for voters to remember and hold these two responsible during the next election cycle?

  8. RayRayRay says:

    Sorry, John. I’ve started a new thing where I’m a total jacka** as often as possible. This comes after Wick sent me a personal e-mail telling me to leave FrontBurner.

    Here’s a clip:

    “I would like to invite you politely to leave FrontBurner and never come back.”

    My response: Nah.

  9. superkaty says:

    and in turn, a 10-yr renewal on my asthma and allergy medication. thanks, boys!

  10. sam says:

    My guess would be the commissioner who voted against is the one with the Ph.D. Maybe the other two gentlemen should move their families next door to one of those kilns.

  11. Don in Austin says:

    @sam: bzzzzz. wrong. you have 2 more guesses.

    If Midlothian schools are a health problem then is there similar toxicological results for Cedar Hill? While Midlothian is closer, CH is more predominantly downwind (NW v. N to NE). I don’t know, just asking…
    While TXI and the other cement kilns are indeed part of the problem with DFW air quality, keep in mind the contribution of millions of automobiles. Think about that while you wait in the drive thru lane for your happy meal or even fire up the weedeater/lawnmower for some uncontrolled emissions lawn maintenance.
    I’m guilty too…love that charcoal grilling.

  12. Dallasite says:

    There are six and a half million people living in the DFW Metropolitan Statistical Area. There are over 100,000 people being added to that number every year.

    For an area this large to function, there have to be some basic resources. You have to have roads, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, schools, parks, fast food joints, sports bars, etc., You have to have a lot of those things, and most importantly you have to have housing.

    You need concrete in order to build all of those things.

    Now, it sucks that some people claim the air quality in Midlothian is poor, and I know it makes you feel good to point out how bad those nasty corporations are, but that’s easy, and weak. What is this area supposed to do without concrete? Buy it from Mexico? Pull it out of thin air? How about if you present an alternative solution instead of just advocating shutting down an entire industry?

  13. amanda says:

    @ Dallasite- the problem isn’t the concrete plants, it’s the waste they smelt. It isn’t “steam” coming out of the plants, it’s toxic smoke. And, there is “clean” cement. It just costs more.

  14. HSH says:


    Nobody says we have to stop using concrete. We’re just asking the State of TX to do its regulatory job right. It would be nice, too, if TXI would install readily available technology that would greatly reduce their omissions. Oh, but they don’t have to, do they, when they have Joe Barton and Rick Perry to cover for them.

  15. Don in Austin says:

    Just because the fuel is toxic doesn’t mean that the emissions are. Are you implying that burning coal is okay? Coal is pretty nasty fuel itsownself. I’m not a proponent of burning hazardous waste (or chemical fuel, as they call it) in kilns, mostly due to transportation issues (I trust the plant to handle it safety once on site, notsomuch the drivers sharing the highways going to the plant), but the kilns have been tested and they passed. They also had to add a lot of continuous monitoring technology in order to get a permit. I do like the idea of burning tires in cement kilns…seems like a good way to solve a problem and they’re similar to coal as a fuel.
    Does all that mean I would live near a cement kiln? Nah, I wouldn’t want to live near any kind of industrial manufacturing plant. I wouldn’t want to live by an airport either.

  16. Dallasite says:

    @Amanda: “It just costs more.”

    Nothing’s too expensive for the person that doesn’t have to pay for it.

  17. Brown Bess says:

    Nobody is talking about doing without cement, or closing the cement plants.

    People like me just want all the modern bells and whistles on them – you know pollution control equipment.

    Given the state’s and TXI’s track record, we’d rather have a public hearing to determine if they are telling us everything they know, instead of just taking their word for it. Thus the need for a PUBLIC hearing.

    Political corruption and pollution track each other precisely. Time for Risk Perry to move on down the road.