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Dallas Takes Action After Pig Blood Dumping

Dallas City Council members are moving to shut down Columbia Packing, a North Oak Cliff slaughter house. KERA’s BJ Austin says the move comes after pig blood was dumped into a creek that empties into the Trinity River.

The City Council says the business doesn’t conform to zoning. And council members authorized the Board of Adjustment to set a date for Columbia Packing to recover its investment costs and shutter its doors. The company’s attorney, Amy Rickers told council members they’re misinterpreting city code.  She says the ordinance they’re using applies where changes to an area makes a particular use unsuitable for the area’s altered use. And she says that’s not the case along East 11th Street. 

Rickers:  Employment of this ordinance in this manner will set a precedent for the city to have requests directed not as an industry at a whole but at individual businesses that are economically viable and beneficial to the city of Dallas, who are left to be pushed out of business.  

Rickers says Columbia Packing, a family-owned business, operated for decades without complaints, and reacted immediately to correct the pig blood, blamed on a clogged pipe. She says the company provided an update to the city earlier this week.

Rickers:  This information clearly establishes the swiftness of Columbia’s response, ensuring that necessary permits were obtained and completing the work as soon as possible.

Federal, state and local officials continue to investigate.

Council members declined to comment on the latest action.

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.