Almost two years after Ash Grove filed a federal lawsuit against Dallas’s refusal to buy its wet-kiln-made cement as a violation of the state’s competitive bidding laws, Dallas and Arlington, the only two parties who kept fighting Ash Grove in federal court, have negotiated a proposed settlement that will bring the litigation to a close. Dallas was one of the many municipalities that had refused to buy Ash Grove’s Midlothian, Texas-made cement, as part of its cleaner-air, “green cement” initiative launched in 2007. Also named were Fort Worth, Arlington, Dallas County Schools, Tarrant County, and Plano, which was dismissed from the initial litigation and named in a later complaint.
The deal would require Ash Grove “to significantly reduce its release of harmful pollutants on all the cement it makes year-round in North Texas.” Specifically, the proposed settlement would require Ash Grove to reduce its nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 10 percent for all of the cement it manufactures in North Texas. It would also require all North Texas cement manufacturers to exceed state emissions standards by a set percentage to be eligible for a preference on city projects and to be in compliance with all state and federal pollution laws to be eligible for a preference on city projects.