Featured Citizen Action

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  • Dear City Council Members

    I urge you to take immediate action to close and clean-up Blue Star Asphalt’s “Shingle Mountain.”

    According to a recently released Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Inspector’s report, Blue Star seems to be in active violation of its state permit, including the lack of a fire prevention and suppression plan and “grossly inadequate” financial assurance for clean-up and closure.

    Although Blue Star was permitted by the State of Texas to store only 260 tons of used shingles on its site, it now houses an estimated 60-70,000 tons of used shingles, based on the company’s own estimates.

    Although Blue Star promised the TCEQ it would only keep used shingles on-site for a month or less, most of the 60-70,000 tons of used shingles have been on-site for the better part of a year, resulting in a growing “Shingle Mountain.”

    Blue Star shreds whole asphalt shingles into smaller and smaller pieces using giant grinders that continuously spew bits and pieces of asphalt dust into the air. Blue Star has been the source of constant health complaints from almost the day it opened, just last March. Neighbors are now coughing up black phlegm. Children have been prescribed nebulizer treatments.

    In light of these facts, we request you take the following actions immediately:

    1) Direct the City’s Office of Sustainable Development and Construction to revoke Blue Star’s current Certificate of Occupancy for the smaller of its two tracts, and deny a second Certificate of Occupancy for the company’s larger tract still pending from December.

    2) Convene an “Authorized Hearing” for the rezoning of the Blue Star parcel and surrounding area to restore Residential Adjacency Rights to homeowners and require a Special Use Permit for any light or heavy industrial use on that property.

    3)Submit a request to the Board of Adjustments to begin immediate amortization hearings against Blue Star based on non-conformance to current zoning.

    Decades of racist zoning allowed Shingle Mountain to happen. The City should use its modern zoning tools to fix it.

    Thank you for your consideration.