I-Team 8

Gritty dust flies again across Indiana town with specialty concrete plant

BROOKLYN, Ind. (WISH) — Since March, when News 8 first aired the issue with dust leaving a Brooklyn, Indiana, specialty concrete plant, the company, Arcosa, says it has completed several improvements and upgrades to their emission control systems.

However, this week, people who live close by say they are covered in dust again.

The dust is a dark, gritty, sand-like material. Pam Mitchell, the Bethany Park town clerk, said there had not been any recurring issues until recently.

“On the 23rd, we had a meeting and everyone said they noticed it had stopped the very next day, came out and we were covered. It was like the 24th of this month again,” Mitchell said.

The source of the dust that has covered just about everything in this Morgan County town is from the Arcosa lightweight concrete plant. A spokesperson for Arcosa told I-Team 8 that the plant just completed several upgrades and that one piece of machinery had been taken offline recently for maintenance. Mitchell is supposed to be the contact person for the town when there is a problem.

“No calls. I called the gentleman in Texas that come to talk to us and he said everything is just going great and we hope you are fine,” Mitchell said.

I-Team 8 first reported on this situation earlier this year. I-Team 8 obtained a letter from the Indiana Department of Environmental  Management. Dated Feb. 24, the letter says Arcosa violated its permit by allowing uncontrolled emission from one of their kilns. At the time, an Arcosa spokesperson told I-Team 8 that the company’s equipment was performing properly.

On Wednesday morning, just about every surface was covered with gritty dust.

“I have noticed that every time I wash my cars, within two or three days, the black stuff is still all over them. You wipe your windows down to the tracks and it is just black gooby-looking,” said Brooklyn resident Dorothy Hornaday.

People who live close to the Arcosa plant told I-Team 8 they believe the dust is released at night or when it is raining.

Mitchell is still waiting for an air quality report from earlier this year. The town clerk feels like she and the community are getting the runaround.

“The gentleman from Arcosa was going to send me facts over what they got, but I never got it,” Mitchell said.

I-Team 8 has reached out to the Arcosa spokesperson and was told that most of the plant has been shut down the last two days for maintenance.