Facility to crush concrete proposed
Investor is a former partner in Blue Star Recycling, the owner of Shingle Mountain
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.
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.