Lubbock City Council Candidate Knee Deep in Cement Controversy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/25/04

Lubbock City Council Candidate Knee Deep in Cement Controversy

Just up the hill from the Canyon Lakes in East Lubbock, Linda DeLeon, a candidate running for the District One Council seat, wants to build a cement plant in the same district.

"Do you think it will be an eyesore?," NewsChannel 11 asked one upset citizen. "To tell you the truth, yes," said Richard Lopez who lives in District One.

Not only does Lopez not like the idea, he's concerned for the health of his neighbors. Lopez says two other cement plants have ruined the quality of the air they breathe. Councilman Victor Hernandez feels the same way. That's why he filed a protest with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality two weeks ago.

On Wednesday, DeLeon assured a city environmentalist of a number of things she'll do to protect the air; like using safe materials, screening around the facility, storing materials out of the wind.

Now, Hernandez is thinking about withdrawing his complaint. "Did you get anything in writing that says 'Our product will not affect the air quality?" NewsChannel 11 asked. "They offered assurance. Councilman Hernandez plans to withdraw the request for a public hearing but contingent on doing what they (The DeLeons) said they would do," answered Dan Dennison, Lubbock City Environmental Compliance Manager.

But there's another issue. The city has plans to turn the Canyon Lakes into a gold mine. A Riverwalk. A tourist attraction. "And then in the middle of all that, you have a big 'ole cement plant plopped right in the middle of that. To me, that's not a compatible use for this area," said Hernandez.

NewsChannel 11 was unable to get a hold of Linda DeLeon for comment. At this point, if Councilman Hernandez withdrawals his complaint, the cement plant will be built. However, if he doesn't, then there will be a public hearing in Austin in front of the TCEQ and it will decide whether this plant is built.

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