DALLAS — Crews have begun the process of demolishing a building that's been at the center of environmental pollution concerns in one southern Dallas neighborhood.
Residents in the Arden Terrace neighborhood gathered with Dallas city leaders, and the Environmental Protection Agency outside Lane Plating Superfund Site on Bonnie View Road early Thursday morning.
"We are so grateful that it's finally happening,” said Gloria Barnes, president of the Arden Terrace Neighborhood Association.
The group gathered to watch crews tear down the structure that many have referred to as a neighborhood nuisance.
"It's coming down,” said Father Timothy Gollob, as he looked on at the demolition.
Lane Plating was once home to an electro-plating facility that was in business for over 90 years.
"When the facility closed in 2015, liquid waste was left unattended at the site,” Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett told the crowd.
The EPA has been involved at the site since 2016. The agency added the contaminated site to its National Priority list, after identifying several hazardous chemicals around the structure and in the surrounding soil.
Barnes said some neighbors have long held health and safety concerns about the issue.
“There was one lady that mentioned that a lot of deaths had occurred in our neighborhood and something must be wrong. And then when they announced about this area -- we don't know,” said Barnes.
It took public officials gaining the trust of community members to get to this point of demolishing the site. A Community Advisory Group volunteered three years working with city leaders and the EPA on the project.
“I’m so happy to see today actually happen,” said Erica Cole, a member of the Community Advisory Group.
Unfortunately, environmental hazards, like this, are not uncommon in this area. It is the same Dallas council district where, just a few years ago, neighbors fought to remove a toxic mound of recycled shingles many people referred to as "Shingle Mountain."
The Lane Plating site is the latest site to be removed.
“This community deserves this demolition. It's a process. It's a start," said District 8 Councilman Tennell Atkins.
Crews expect the structure and more than 11,000 tons of soil will be cleared from the site by early summer.
Neighbors and city leaders said they want the community to have strong input on the future of the site.