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Atkins Leads Charge in City Efforts to Halt Blue Star Operations. Temporary Restraining Order Issued by Court

City of Dallas Memorandum

Blue Star Recycling LLC (Blue Star) Update

The purpose of this memorandum is to update you on the Blue Star Recycling LLC (Blue Star) litigation and the court order issued yesterday enjoining further operations (attached). The City will continue to seek all appropriate relief to protect the environment and health of nearby residents.

Background: Blue Star’s operations are located in Council District 8 at and around 9505 S. Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas. Blue Star was operating an asphalt shingle and wooden pallet recycling operation without a valid certificate of occupancy (CO) or specific use permit (SUP). Blue Star was the subject of complaints beginning in March 2018. The Department of Code Compliance (CCS) inspectors visited the site and issued a notice of violation to Blue Starfor illegal land use. On December 8, 2018, CCS issued a citation for illegal land use for Blue Star’s failure to comply with applicable city codes. Blue Star maintained that its operations were approved by Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality (TCEQ).

Enforcement: On December 12 & 13, 2018, the City of Dallas’ Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability (DEQS) was given notice of the significant environmental risks and noncompliance issues at the site. DEQS observed apparent large-scale illegal dumping and noncompliant operations at the site. Based on the risk to the environment and health of nearby residents, DEQS immediately contacted the City Attorney’s Office (GAO) to halt Blue Star’s illegal operations. The City filed a lawsuit in state district court on December 13, 2018. Blue Star agreed to temporarily cease operations and come into compliance.

City staff conducted enforcement inspections while CAO continued to work with Blue Star towards compliance. However, Blue Star failed to demonstrate progress and waste materials continued to accumulate. In addition, TCEQ — the state agency with primary
jurisdiction over recycling and solid waste operations -— followed the City’s action and began formal enforcement actions on March 11, 2019 against Blue Star. Based on the continued noncompliance and enforcement by TCEQ, the City revoked Blue Star’s certificate of occupancy making any operations at the site by Blue Star illegal.

Yesterday’s court order. On March 21, 2019, the Court granted the City’s request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) immediately enjoining Blue Star from operating “any waste collection, recycling, or any other industrial activity” without first obtaining every permit necessary and demonstrating full compliance with local, state, and federal law. The TRO is valid for two weeks or upon further court order.

Next steps. A hearing on the City’s request for temporary injunction is set for April 3, 2019, at which point the Court will determine whether to extend the prohibition of illegal
activity at Blue Star through the trial date. The City will continue to seek all appropriate relief to protect the environment and health of nearby residents with the goal of ensuring that remaining waste materials are properly handled and recycled or disposed.

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