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Judge orders Dallas to stop work on storm debris because dust clogged air conditioning at nearby school

By meerna Jul11,2024
Judge orders Dallas to stop work on storm debris because dust clogged air conditioning at nearby school

A judge on Wednesday ordered Dallas authorities to stop shredding storm debris at a maintenance facility after clouds of dust clogged HVAC units at a nearby vocational school for veterans.

Work can resume once the city upgrades its dust control methods to prevent damage, said Judge Gena Slaughter of the 191st Civil Court.

Medisend College of Biomedical Engineering Technology said sawdust from shredding waste in wood chippers, shredders and wheel loaders clogged their building’s HVAC system during a hot Texas summer.

A broken air conditioner caused school owners to cancel classes and close the school in late June. Replacing the units could cost more than $50,000, and the loss of revenue could be even greater, according to court documents.

“We have to send air conditioning repairmen every other day,” Monica Uribe, a lawyer for the school, said at a hearing on the temporary injunction.

Dust from Dallas storm debris shuts down college, prompts legal action

Three of the four AC units are not working, she said. School officials turn on the remaining unit early in the morning to cool the building. Students attend classes for half a day before it gets too hot inside.

The city’s maintenance facility at 12000 Greenville Ave. near Forest Lane was set up to deal with the aftermath of the May 28 storm, which caused widespread damage from downed trees and power lines. The city received approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on May 31 to set up a temporary site to process the debris. It has until Aug. 26 to complete the work.

Stacy Rodriguez, deputy chief of the city’s litigation department, said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not notify the city of any permit violations.

“The permit does not give the city carte blanche to violate and pollute the air and do whatever it wants,” Uribe said, adding that the temporary restraining order was intended to force the city to implement air quality controls like those at other solid waste sites and city-run facilities.

Slaughter scheduled a hearing on the injunction for July 22.

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By meerna

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