Fa­cil­ity to crush con­crete pro­posed

In­vestor is a for­mer part­ner in Blue Star Re­cy­cling, the owner of Shin­gle Moun­tain

The Dallas Morning News - - METRO - By PEGGY HEINKEL­WOLFE Den­ton Record­-Chron­i­cle pheinkel-­[email protected]­tonrc.com

DEN­TON — Real es­tate in­vestors with a check­ered past hope to trans­form an old dump­ing area in eastern Den­ton into a con­crete­crush­ing fa­cil­ity.

In­vest­ment part­ner Chris Ganter said the group pur­chased the prop­erty to serve road builders.

“You guys have the most road con­struc­tion go­ing on right now,” Ganter said, adding that the Den­ton lo­ca­tion could help save the city and the state money.

Con­crete crush­ing is known to pro­duce sil­ica dust and par­tic­u­late mat­ter that can pose se­ri­ous health prob­lems for peo­ple ex­posed to the dust for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time. The in­vestors, Mu­tual First LLC, were re­quired by fed­eral air qual­ity laws to pub­lish a le­gal no­tice of the ac­tion. The no­tice gives the com­mu­nity time to re­view the ap­pli­ca­tion and com­ment on it to state en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cials.

The Texas Com­mis­sion on En­vi­ron­men­tal Qual­ity on Nov. 4 re­ceived Mu­tual First’s ap­pli­ca­tion for per­ma­nent in­stal­la­tion of a con­crete crusher at 5120 E. Univer­sity Drive, prop­erty that has been the sub­ject of pre­vi­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal

com­plaints. Old shin­gles and tires have been dumped on about 30 acres of the site. The le­gal no­tice ap­peared Christ­mas Day in the Den­ton RecordChro­n­i­cle, and the com­ment pe­riod closes Jan. 25.

Den­ton’s Deputy City Man­ager Mario Canizares said city staff was still gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion in or­der to bring the mat­ter to the City Coun­cil’s first meet­ing in Jan­uary, which is set for Tues­day. He said that he ex­pected the city would take a po­si­tion on the ap­pli­ca­tion.

County Com­mis­sioner Hugh Cole­man learned from state of­fi­cials that the ap­pli­ca­tion in­cluded the re­quest to au­tho­rize “one per­ma­nent con­crete crusher, one screener, two diesel en­gines and stock­pil­ing ar­eas at the site un­der the Air Qual­ity Stan­dard Per­mit for Per­ma­nent Rock and Con­crete Crush­ers.”

Cole­man said he ex­pects sig­nif­i­cant noise and traf­fic from the site if the state ap­proves the per­mits. He said he was con­sid­er­ing bring­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion to the Den­ton County Com­mis­sion­ers Court for pos­si­ble com­ment to state of­fi­cials.

Ganter is a for­mer part­ner in Blue Star Re­cy­cling,the owner of the year­old shin­gle pile in South Dal­las that is so high it can be seen from In­ter­state 45.

Ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, Shin­gle Moun­tain grew fast. Blue Star be­gan op­er­a­tions in Jan­uary 2018 and be­fore the end of the year, the city of Dal­las had sued the com­pany for en­vi­ron­men­tal vi­o­la­tions.

A judge found the com­pany in con­tempt of court last month and or­dered a $1,000­a­day fine un­til the pile is cleaned up.

Few of­fi­cials in Dal­las ex­pect the com­pany to come through. The Dal­las Morn­ing News re­ported that it could cost taxpayers as much as $8 mil­lion to clean up Shin­gle Moun­tain.

In Fe­bru­ary 2019, Ganter and other real es­tate part­ners ac­quired the eastern Den­ton prop­erty with an ex­ist­ing shin­gle pile. That part­ner­ship has since trans­ferred the real es­tate in­ter­ests twice. Ac­cord­ing to county and state records, the prop­erty ti­tle is cur­rently held by Mu­tual First LLC, which is reg­is­tered to Chris Ganter and his twin brother, Ben Ganter.

Res­i­dents have com­plained to city, county and state of­fi­cials about on­go­ing il­le­gal dump­ing at the site, which is on the banks of Lewisville Lake, the drink­ing wa­ter sup­ply for mil­lions of North Texans.

In March, state in­spec­tors vis­ited the prop­erty af­ter a com­plaint that dump trucks were still en­ter­ing the prop­erty. State records show that the in­spec­tors were not able to sub­stan­ti­ate the claim. How­ever, the in­spec­tors did note 36,500 cu­bic yards of shin­gles and is­sued a no­tice of vi­o­la­tion for fail­ing to pre­vent the unau­tho­rized waste.

In ad­di­tion, state in­spec­tors told prop­erty own­ers that they needed an air per­mit to process the shin­gles.

In Au­gust, a state in­spec­tor re­turned af­ter a com­plaint that shin­gles were be­ing buried on the prop­erty. That in­spec­tor was not able to sub­stan­ti­ate the com­plaint, and the in­spec­tor didn’t ob­serve any ac­tiv­i­ties re­quir­ing a state per­mit, ac­cord­ing to state records.

Ganter re­stated then that the com­pany would be seek­ing per­mits for con­crete crush­ing and shin­gle grind­ing and told the in­spec­tor that within two months of re­ceiv­ing those per­mits, the old shin­gle pile would be gone, ac­cord­ing to state records. The com­pany re­ceived a dead­line ex­ten­sion to May 22 to get the per­mits.

Ganter pre­vi­ously told the Record­chron­i­cle that his com­pany had “zero in­ten­tion” of ac­cept­ing new waste at the site. He re­peated that in an in­ter­view New Year’s Day.

“It’ ll be a rock yard,” he said.

Lynda M. Gon­za­lez/staff Photograph­er

A group of at­tor­neys and city of­fi­cials toured the moun­tain of roof­ing shin­gles left by Blue Star Re­cy­cling off South Cen­tral Ex­press­way in Dal­las in July. A judge found the com­pany in con­tempt of court and or­dered daily fines.

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