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.