Featured Citizen Action

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  • Dear Mayor Johnson and City Council Members,

    Forty years ago, the City of Dallas made an historic decision that dangerous lead smelters should no longer be allowed to operate in residential neighborhoods in West Dallas and East Oak Cliff.

    In 2024 I’m urging you to make the same decision when it comes to Dallas’ two asphalt shingle factories, TAMKO in Joppa and GAF in West Dallas.

    Both factories are 80-years old. Both are operating in Black and Brown neighborhoods because of racist zoning. Both factories are among the city’s largest air polluters. Both factories have no modern scrubbers for controlling their Sulfur Dioxide pollution. Both factories are classified as “non-conforming” businesses, meaning they should be targeted for closure. Both have decades of public nuisance complaints against them. Both factories are owned by wealthy out-of-town white families profiting from the poisoning of Black and Brown Dallas residents. They are Dallas’ Toxic Twins.

    A recent Texas A&M health survey of Joppa residents found reported asthma rates two to three times the Dallas County and Texas state averages. West Dallas residents have conclusive evidence of asphalt routinely raining down on their property. Both GAF and TAMKO contribute to DFW’s poor air quality, especially now that Dallas County is violating the new EPA standard for Particulate Matter pollution.

    I urge you to endorse and work toward the goals of the Dallas Earth Day Action Alliance:

    Close the GAF and TAMKO asphalt shingle factories ASAP. Use the tools of city government to put these non-conforming businesses out of business.

    Levy a city shingle production tax on all asphalt shingle factories. Direct the proceeds to benefit the neighborhoods they’ve been poisoning with their pollution for decades.

    Declare West Dallas and Joppa No Industry Zones in both the current Forward Dallas Plan and the subsequent change in the city zoning code.

    Prohibit the purchase and use of GAF and TAMKO products on any City of Dallas or City-supported facilities

    In 2024, asphalt is the new lead. It’s time the City of Dallas close these 80-year-old monuments of environmental racism.