How a toxic mountain was dumped onto a community of color

The mountain is human-made — an environmental nightmare of discarded roofing shingles stretching more than a city block. Even though it’s an illegal toxic waste dump on the edge of a neighborhood, it took months of pressure to get city officials to even acknowledge its existence and finally make plans to take it down.

Shingle Mountain didn’t just appear from out of nowhere. It formed just south of a section of Dallas settled by formerly enslaved people, an area that for more than a century has been zoned for everything White citizens didn’t want in their neighborhoods: industrial rail yards, chemical plants, concrete mixing facilities, warehouses that lure up to 100 diesel trucks per day and a massive landfill.

And now, even as Dallas is currently more than 60 percent Latino and African American, with a Black city manager and mayor and a diverse city council, redlining and other historic land-use decisions by White leaders and planners who are long gone continue to have a lasting negative impact.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

2 thoughts on “How a toxic mountain was dumped onto a community of color

  1. Standing up and fighting back says:

    “The Activist Who Keeps Exposing Environmental Racism in the U.S. : Beverly Wright, co-founder of the National Black Environmental Justice Network, has spent decades empowering communities that are vulnerable to toxic chemicals.” https://www.vice.com/en/article/4adn5d/the-activist-who-keeps-exposing-environmental-racism-in-the-us
    “A Legendary Black Environmental Group Is Back and Advising Joe Biden : Inside the racist nightmare that led to the founding of the National Black Environmental Justice Network, the devastating death of its first leader Damu Smith, and the political shifts that brought the network back and made it more relevant than ever.” https://www.vice.com/en/article/akz4ae/a-legendary-black-environmental-group-is-back-and-advising-joe-biden

  2. Update says:

    Dallas is taking over the former Shingle Mountain site. Will a park blossom out of the waste?
    Neighbors hope a new park will replace the toxic dump. But city officials on Wednesday revealed no plans for the site and provided no results from environmental testing. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2021/06/09/dallas-approves-taking-over-the-former-shingle-mountain-site-will-a-park-blossom-out-of-the-waste/
    The city hired Roberts Trucking last fall to remove the shingles, and between December and February the company hauled about 139,000 tons to a city landfill less than a mile away.
    Debris is still being removed from the site, a city-run tracker shows. Nearly 15,000 tons of of additional waste has been cleared from the site since March, including around 260 tons on May 4. See https://dallasgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/4ac5ec33fb1c47fa97ba884ddd653b3f

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