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THUMB AWARD NOT JUST WHISTLlN’ DIXIE

By Angela Enright |

Thumbs Down to the Dallas Board of Adjustments for allowing the Dixie Metal Co. lead smelting operation to remain in business until December 1, 1990, instead of immediately closing the plant. Although pollution control equipment has been installed there, the plant is believed to be the source of high levels of lead found in the blood of East Oak Cliff residents and in the soil around homes and businesses in the area. Since the smelter was operable before new zoning changes deemed it inappropriate for such a densely peculated area, it can remain open under a special permit until it can recoup its losses. Although the board says that it reached a compromise with its decision, the ironic fact is that the benefits are negligible on both sides: Oak Cliff residents still fear for their health, and Dixie officials say they won’t be able to recoup their losses in six years.