Last update:
2021-04-30

Toxic Waste dumping in Shingle Mountain, Dallas, Texas

Shingle Mountain and the Struggle Against Environmental Racism and Illegal Dumping in Dallas


Description:

In 2018, Blue Star Recycling opened an asphalt shingle recycling site in the predominantly African-American and working-class neighborhood of Floral Farms in southern Dallas, Texas – an area of the city already facing environmental burdens from industrial operations, waste facilities, and illegal dumping [1]. The pile of old shingles quickly grew, gaining the nickname “shingle mountain,” and becoming a symbol of environmental racism. The site was adjacent to Marsha Jackson’s backyard who, along with nearby residents, quickly raised complaints about air and water pollution, and noise and light disturbances. Residents, community organizations, faith leaders, civil rights groups, and environmental justice organizations led by Downwinders at Risk and Southern Sector Rising mobilized protests, conducted research, and filed lawsuits to pressure the company and government officials to close and clean-up the dump. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Toxic Waste dumping in Shingle Mountain, Dallas, Texas
Country:United States of America
State or province:Texas
Location of conflict:Dallas
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Asphalt
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Over 70,000 tons of used asphalt shingles were illegally dumped on a 4.4 acre plot in an urban neighborhood adjacent to people's homes. Contractors eventually had to remove 174,000 cubic yards of waste.

Project area:1.6
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:4,000
Start of the conflict:02/01/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Blue Star Recycling from United States of America - Created the toxic dump of old shingles but filed for bankruptcy after fines and costs to clean-up the site
CCR Equity Holdings One from United States of America - Owner of land used for the dump
Relevant government actors:City of Dallas
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Texas Attorney General's Office
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Downwinders at Risk, https://www.downwindersatrisk.org/
Southern Sector Rising, https://southernsectorrising.org/
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Specific impacts on women
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Application of existing regulations
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of alternatives:Residents and community and environmental groups like Southern Sector Rising want the City to acquire the site and turn it into a park after remediation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:In December 2020, the City of Dallas hired a trucking company to haul off the old and ground up asphalt shingles. By late February 2021, all of the waste was removed from the site while air and water monitoring continued. Residents still want the site transformed into a park, but the immediate environmental and public health threat has been removed.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[18] Matt Goodman. The Reality TV Twin Who Built Shingle Mountain. D Magazine. August 2019.
[click to view]

[19] Darryl Fears. Shingle Mountain: How a pile of toxic pollution was dumped in a community of color. The Washington Post. November 16, 2020.
[click to view]

[1] Wilonsky, Robert. December 14, 2018. “City Hall finally goes after southern Dallas shingle recycler, alleging 'large-scale illegal dumping'” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[20] Everton Bailey Jr. February 26, 2021. End of Shingle Mountain in Dallas’ southeast Oak Cliff neighborhood brings music to residents’ ears. Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[2] Wilonsky, Robert. December 14, 2018. “City Hall finally goes after southern Dallas shingle recycler, alleging 'large-scale illegal dumping'” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[8] Tatum, Carrington. August 26, 2020. "Shingle Mountain still stands. Here’s how activists are pressuring the city to remove it." Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[14] Cooper, Brooklynn. October 13, 2020. “Dallas City Council approves $450,000 bid to clean up Shingle Mountain.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[21] Alejandra Martinez. December 18, 2020. ‘Shingle Mountain’ Removal Begins In Southeast Dallas. Texas Standard.
[click to view]

[17] Bailey, Everton Jr., and Brooklynn Cooper. December 17, 2020. “Finally: Southeast Dallas neighbors watch as trucks begin to haul off Shingle Mountain.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[3] Wilonsky, Robert. December 12, 2018. “City Hall finally goes after southern Dallas shingle recycler, alleging 'large-scale illegal dumping'.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[7] Mayo, Evelyn. “Poisoned by Zip Code: An Assessment of Dallas’ Air Pollution Burden by Neighborhood.” Paul Quinn College.
[click to view]

[9] Wilonsky, Robert. March 12, 2020. “Clean-up at southeast Dallas’ Shingle Mountain begins just as Texas steps into City Hall’s fight.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[5] Tatum, Carrington. August 26, 2020. "Shingle Mountain still stands. Here’s how activists are pressuring the city to remove it." Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[10] Wilonsky, Robert. "Shingle Mountain isn't going anywhere, and Dallas wants the people responsible fined or thrown in jail — or both." Dallas Morning News. Jun 7, 2019.
[click to view]

[13] Tatum, Carrington. August 29, 2020. “In mock trials, protesters find Dallas officials guilty of ‘monstrous neglect’ over Shingle Mountain.”
[click to view]

[11] Wilonsky, Robert. March 12, 2020. “Clean-up at southeast Dallas’ Shingle Mountain begins just as Texas steps into City Hall’s fight.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[12] Southern Sector Rising. August 5, 2020. Letter to Dallas City Council.
[click to view]

[16] Fears, Darryl. February 26, 2021. “Something to sing about: Shingle Mountain, a giant pile of pollution, finally gone.” The Washington Post.
[click to view]

[22] Jacob Vaughn. February 22, 2021. After Shingle Mountain, Floral Farms Has a Plan. Residents Say the City Isn't Listening. Dallas Observer.
[click to view]

[6] Tatum, Carrington. August 26, 2020. "Shingle Mountain still stands. Here’s how activists are pressuring the city to remove it." Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[15] Bailey, Everton Jr., and Brooklynn Cooper. December 17, 2020. “Finally: Southeast Dallas neighbors watch as trucks begin to haul off Shingle Mountain.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

[4] Wilonsky, Robert. March 21, 2019. “Judge shuts down Shingle Mountain in southern Dallas until, at least, early April.” Dallas Morning News.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

BET. Disrupt and Dismantle Season 1, Episode 1. Shingle Mountain.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Erik Kojola, Texas Christian University, [email protected]
Last update30/04/2021
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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