The battle continues between West Dallas residents and a nearly 80-year-old asphalt shingles plant operated by the roofing company GAF as progress has slowed to a crawl.
After numerous complaints about noise and pollution around the Singleton Road plant, GAF claimed it would shut down the plant by 2029. Protesting residents have rejected the offer in favor of an earlier shut-down date, resulting in further negotiations.
The Singleton Road plant has been manufacturing asphalt shingles since 1946, sharing the neighborhood with nearly 20,000 people. In May 2022, residents presented their “Case for City Amortization of GAF,” which argued that the plant has harmed those living nearby.
Data from the Paul Quinn College, which interprets Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reports, shows that GAF’s plant is the second worst air polluter in Dallas County. The Environmental Protection Agency has publicly objected to the TCEQ’s decision to renew the plant’s operating permit, stating that GAF has violated the Clean Air Act.
Frustration is evident among residents, who have protested outside the plant in the past and displayed signs urging GAF to leave the area. For West Dallas 1 President Raul Reyes, a GAF exit is long past due.
“Now that we’re here and there’s interest on both sides for them to leave, we would like them to be gone sooner than later,” Reyes told The Dallas Morning News. Reyes and other concerned residents have complained about a lack of communication on behalf of GAF.
On Wednesday, GAF promised to make a “significant reduction” in the air pollutants expelled from the factory. Also, GAF is asking for the land upon which the plant sits to be rezoned in the future to allow for business and residential development.
“GAF believes these actions to voluntarily wind down operations and rezone the property to meet the future needs of the community are another clear demonstration of its commitment to work with the city and the community,” the company said.