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Don't Batch Joppa ("Joppee")

Protect the air in historic Joppa, nearby Oak Cliff neighborhoods and Great Trinity Forest. Call or write your Dallas City Council member and Mayor Rawlins. Here are some talking points about the zoning change requested by Union Pacific, to be considered in the March 28 meeting of Dallas City Council.

A community meeting at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, 6-8 on Thursday, March 22, will present information about the proposed zoning change and concrete batch plants.

You can send a message to all the city council and the mayor using this form or contact members individually Please use your own words. Following are some possible talking points.

  • Batching concrete is an industrial operation that imposes noise, hazardous dust, odors and fumes on neighboring property. Joppee already suffers noise, hazardous dust, odors and fumes from the presence of the Union Pacific rail yard, TAMKO building products plant and the large Austin Bridge asphalt batch plant next to the community. The zoning request would permit Martin Marietta to add two large concrete batch plants to this neighborhood, to operate for ten years with an option to continue after that. This is unjust.
  • Martin Marietta's reckoning of chemical and particulate emissions from their proposed plants sounds too good to be believable. They provide no data or other information to back their claims. It is unclear which of the known concrete plant contamination sources they have considered and whether or not their assumptions are realistic for the Texas environment. For example, Dallas has been given no details of any of the following hazards commonly associated with concrete batch plants:
    • Emissions, both carcinogenic and particulate, from idling diesel trucks which are often as high as those from the plants themselves.
    • Truck loading, which typically comprises 88% of particulate emissions.
    • Particulate emissions from unshielded, fifty foot high conveyor belts, exposed to higher than ground level wind speeds. PM emissions increase dramatically at higher wind speeds.
    • Control of particulates from piles of aggregates and sand in the yards and from loading material into or out of these piles. Emission control from these sources is especially difficult on hot, dry Texas summer days.
    • Runoff of dirty water and subsequent evaporation of the water, redepositing particulate matter on the surface of the ground where it can be blown up into the air.
    • Emissions from wind blown rod dust from the ground within the plant site and from surrounding roads.
  • Particulate Matter 2.5 micrograms and smaller is particularly hazardous. It is different from the dust that people see and consider normal.. "Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Scientific studies have linked increases in daily PM2.5 exposure with increased respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, emergency department visits and deaths. Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease. People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5." (from
  • Martin Marietta proposes washing trucks on the property and draining that water into a pond. The property is close to the Trinity River. Environmental impact on the river has not been evaluated.
  • Martin Marietta suggests that 33 cement delivery trucks per day would handle the material delivered from 30,000 rail cars per year. If all that material were made into concrete, It would take several hundreds of trucks per day to haul the product away. Martin Marietta must be more clear about the amount of traffic they are proposing.
  • Martin Marietta has suggested that batch plants in a rail yard reduce pollution because trucks are not needed to haul the raw materials from the rail yard to the batch plant. If raw materials are hauled elsewhere, they require fewer and lighter weight trucks than would be required to haul the concrete product elsewhere, thus the impact on Joppee air would be less if the batch plants are not in the rail yard.
  • Extra pollution in the neighborhood will also adversely affect nearby Cedar Crest neighborhood, Highland Hills neighborhood, Audubon Center and Great Trinity Forest.

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