State investigators crack down on Dallas County salvage yards
Investigators from two state agencies swept down on a series of salvage yards in southern Dallas County Friday.
They're responding to both a citizen complaint and information unearthed by a recent News 8 investigation into businesses operating without permits.
Our investigation exposed acres and acres of salvage yards along Dowdy Ferry Road grossly out of compliance with county laws.
Visual pollution. Environmental pollution. A lack of permits from the county and the state.
Dowdy Ferry Road resident John Cook complained to Dallas County officials one year ago. Yet not only are the businesses still open, Cook says they're worse.
So last month, Cook filed a complaint with the state.
"Ten days later, they're out here," he said. "It tells me the state is concerned and spent the energy and time and money to come out and investigate."
They went from yard to yard, executing the enforcement Cook says the county has ignored. And while all the salvage yards are still open, just down the road at 1718 Dowdy Ferry, Dallas County Officials have cracked down hard.
Joel Potasznik's 50-acre property, once used as a dumping ground, was seized and padlocked by the Dallas County Fire Marshal two years ago for operating without a permit.
"I have never been given any kind of formal notice from any person at all ever in this entire process," Potasznik said. "All I've gotten is a list of false accusations used to support a search warrant."
Fire Marshal Robert De Los Santos says he can't comment on Potasznik's case because it's in litigation.
Court records show the county is also accusing Potasznik of polluting the environment. De Los Santos also says the salvage yards on Dowdy Ferry Road are now under investigation as well. But Dowdy Ferry Road residents say they don't have faith in Dallas County and will work with the state to enforce the law.
"Until these businesses are in compliance and we don't plan on letting up," Cook said.