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Gunter residents against proposed pipe plant

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 6:32 PM CDT
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GUNTER, Texas (KXII) - A South Texas company wants to build a pipe plant in Gunter, but many who live nearby want to put a stop to it.

“Excuse me I get choked up, but this plant is trying to kill my animals,” Paul Gabriel said.

Gabriel owns Bonnie and Clyde’s, a Clydesdale ranch in Gunter.

AmeriTex, a company that makes concrete pipes and culverts, has applied for a permit that would allow them to build a new plant covering more than 300 acres to the north-west of Gunter.

That proposed site is just inches from Gabriel’s ranch.

He said he spoke with vets at Texas A&M who said the dust, emissions, and run-off from this kind of plant could be deadly.

“They won’t be able to breathe, the hay you see out here will be ruined by this plant,” Gabriel said.

Employee Karlie Baker said these animals are rare, and they want to keep them healthy.

“There are only 1,000 registered Clydesdales in the United States and we have about 30 percent of them here on our property,” Baker said.

Trent Lewis lives nearby and said a meeting with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was set for the middle of March, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

Now, a virtual meeting is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.

“There has been over 700 public comments concerns and technical questions about this applicant AmeriTex, all of those are before the state and the state has to review each question, comment, concern and give a response to Gunter and Grayson County residents,” Lewis said.

Then, the executive director at TCEQ will make a decision on whether to grant the permit to AmeriTex or not, which Lewis said could take months.

It’s an issue Colin Hunter knows too well, living by three concrete batch plants, about half a mile from the proposed one.

“We’ve had five cows die and it was from the runoff from these plants,” Hunter said.

A problem Gabriel wants to avoid.

“I swear I’m going to fight until my last dollar not to let that plant come into Gunter, Texas,” Gabriel said.

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