Local clean-air charity gifts $221,000 to Midlothian ISD
MIDLOTHIAN – In one of the most unusual clean air settlements in the country, Midlothian cement plant Holcim Cement and a local environmental organization, Downwinders at Risk, join efforts to fund clean air projects.
One of its latest endeavors includes funding Midlothian Independent School Dis-trict’s replacement of an older, outdated school bus in exchange for a hybrid school bus.
In 2005, traditional opponents Holcim Cement and the Downwinders at Risk reached a historic agreement over permitting issues at the Midlothian cement plant.
Under the terms of the agreement, Downwinders At Risk dropped their fight over Holcim’s permit application to increase production and emissions at their Midlothian plant in return for Holcim’s commitment to undertake a list of projects to reduce emissions and monitor air quality.
Included in that list were the requirement Holcim install and test new pollution control technology, provide $2.25 million dollars for other projects aimed at reducing ozone forming emissions in the DFW area, provide monitoring for particulate matter for three years, provide up to $120,000 over five years for an independent scientist to review compliance and operations at Holcim, and to reduce the limits of ozone forming emissions previously requested by Holcim.
The $2.25 million dollars was "set aside" in an organization named after the Midlothian native and rancher Sue Pope.
"Truly unique, this historic settlement agreement is one of the few models in which industry and environmentalist join together to create winning solutions. "We are thankful to Holcim Cement for their efforts in negotiating a win-win for air quality and a win-win for Midlothian school children," said Sue Pope, the local rancher for which the fund is named.
Midlothian ISD received $221,000 from the historic fund to purchase a greener and cleaner hybrid school bus.
Midlothian ISD will also receive the interest from the settlement agreement around $77,000.