The City of Dallas began clearing lead-contaminated soil from a former landfill known as “Shingle Mountain” this week.
In a press release sent to The Dallas Express, the City said 40,000 cubic yards of soil will be removed during this phase of the cleanup, which is expected to be completed by the end of October.
“Shingle Mountain,” located at 9527 S. Central Expy., was used as a landfill by Blue Star Recycling. The company amassed a large collection of asphalt roof shingles from January 2018 to May 2019, planning to repurpose the shingles into paving and asphalt road-mix materials. Resident Marsha Jackson then sued Blue Star Recycling in March 2021 for improperly storing 100,000 tons of shingles in violation of state and local law.
Between December 2020 and May 2021, all shingles were cleared from the site by a contractor hired by the City. The City of Dallas then purchased the location in July 2021.
After acquiring the landfill, the City determined undocumented filling had occurred at the site, going back to the 1970s. Metal, brick, and concrete materials were found in the soil at the site. Furthermore, when the City tested the soil, some areas were “confirmed to have lead levels above regulatory standards.”
The process of removing the contaminated soil began Monday. The soil will be disposed of at the McCommas Bluff Landfill in accordance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements, according to the City.
“If you had seen it before, while we’re walking, you can see that mountain up there,” said Marsha Jackson, per WFAA. “Over 100,000 tons of roofing shingles … and it caused health and environmental problems for us.”
Community members began complaining about the landfill to the City in 2018, garnering national attention, per WFAA. Eventually, the City took action and removed the shingles from the land, but the soil was left contaminated.
“This property has been an environmental concern and challenge for many years, and I am glad to mark the day the final portion of the cleanup begins,” Council Member Tennell Atkins said in the press release.
“I am proud to represent the residents of District 8 and those who have diligently advocated for environmental equity and stewardship for this land.” he continued. “Mrs. Jackson and everyone in this area deserve the peace of mind bringing this land to residential standards provides them.”
Atkins said removing and replacing the dirt will cost about $1.5 million in addition to the $1.5 million already spent cleaning the landfill, reported Fox 4 KDFW.
The City will continue to monitor air, soil, and groundwater conditions. Updates on the cleanup process can be found here.
Meanwhile, residents of Dallas continue to say the City government is doing a subpar job at maintaining cleanliness throughout the City, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.