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Kick in the Ash: Cement-Maker Takes Dallas, Tarrant Counties to Court

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The day before Thanksgiving, Kansas-based Ash Grove Cement Company filed a suit against, among others, the City of Dallas, claiming that the city's desire to go green will take the green right out of Ash Grove's wallet. The lawsuit, which also names Plano and Fort Worth and Arlington and Tarrant County and the Dallas Independent School District as defendants, is a monster -- hundreds of pages of complaints and exhibits. Ash Grove, which makes cement at its Midlothian plant using the wet-kiln method, contends in its complaint filed Wednesday in Dallas federal court:

"In a rush to pass the cement-purchasing resolutions at issue, under a slogan of 'cleaner air,' the Defendants ignored Texas statutes limiting their ability to use their purchasing power to effect social policy, stifled legitimate competition, and jeopardized scores of jobs and significant economic growth. ... This is not a case about air quality; rather, it is about whether the Defendants, however well intentioned but misguided their goals might be, may ignore laws they do not wish to follow, may pass resolutions which are unfair, unwise and unlawful, and may take property away from Ash Grove in an arbitrary and capricious manner."

The city's yet to respond, but this morning, Downwinders at Risk sent out a media release that takes its shots at Ash Grove. "I don't see Ford suing these cities for replacing their Crown Victorias with Priuses," says Jim Schermbeck, filmmaker and spokesperson for Downwinders At Risk. We'll upload the entirety of Ash Grove's mammoth complaint shortly. --Robert Wilonsky

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