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Dallas residents battle to rid neighborhood of factories "destroying" lives

Dallas residents battle to rid neighborhood of factories "destroying" lives
Dallas residents battle to rid neighborhood of factories "destroying" lives 02:45

DALLAS - Two Dallas shingle factories are facing renewed calls to shut down from nearby residents and threats of civil disobedience if they don't. 

Residents worry the air quality will eventually shorten their lives. 

"Joppa is an awesome place, we have nice 30-plus trees, we have 1/4-plus acre lots."

That breathing room that the Joppa community offers Emmanuel Davis and a thousand or so other residents in Southeast Dallas is offset by air that's bad to breathe according to a study last year. 

A decades-old shingle plant there and another one in West Dallas are getting more pressure to permanently close after a news conference today organized by an environmental group. 

"One: Close down Tamko and GAF. Two: Declare Joppa and West Dallas no industry zones."

GAF on Singleton in West Dallas promised the city it would shut down in 2029.

"We've also taken a number of steps, including implementing throughout reductions and process improvements, to achieve a significant reduction in emissions at our facility," a GAF spokesperson said.

"In our neighborhood, the particles from GAF stick to our porches, stick to the vehicles."

Janie Cisneros has lived near the GAF shingle plant her whole life. 

She says the city allowing it to remain open 7 years after an agreement to cease operations is an insult to her and other residents. 

"GAF is a New Jersey company with its parent company in New York," said Cisneros. "So we have a company with ties to New York and New Jersey destroying Texas families."

Some of those families are planning rallies and threatening civil disobedience on Earth Day in April to bring more attention to the health risks in these low-income neighborhoods where a Texas A&M study found air pollution levels 2 to 3 times higher than normal. 

"Our residents' eyes, ears, skin are constantly affected by the persistent pollution from Tamko shingles manufacturer."

Pauline Logan says the city has evidence the plants are unsafe to live around. 

"Joppa residents have a life expectancy of 71 years while wealthy North Dallas residents have a life expectancy of 84 years," said Logan.

Residents are also calling on the city and other shingle customers to boycott the two factories and impose a tax on them to drive them out. 

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