The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality voted 2-1 Wednesday to approve a 10-year renewal of Dallas-based TXI’s permit for cement kilns in Midlothian, despite pleas from nearly 200 residents that a public hearing be held first, reports local press.
The three-member commission argued briefly over whether they were legally allowed to conduct a hearing on the permit renewal because TXI was not requesting a permit for an increase in plant emissions. The plants have previously been described by critics and through studies as the largest industrial sources of ozone-forming pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
"The statute seems to require and certainly strongly suggest that in that case the renewal be granted," Commissioner Bryan Shaw said. He said the commission should address kiln emissions by proposing rule changes to the area, not singling out one company through the permit renewal process. He said the company has a solid compliance record and has been responsive to concerns about emissions.