Health department investigates dust complaints

Dust covered cars, dust covered trucks, dust in the air.  All of this dust comes from a concrete plant in north Memphis.  Employees at the post office on Tunica Street alerted us to the problem.  But they are not the only ones concerned.

"There have been, you know, clouds of dust coming out of there," says Charles Debose.

He lives right across the street from Materials Packaging Corporation.  His vehicles are covered by a thick layer of dust.

"You can't keep 'em clean," says Debose.

Not only is the dust dirty, some are worried about its effect on their health.  That's why the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department is on the case along with Action News 5.

"When we get complaints, you get a visit from us a lot quicker," says Pollution Control Manager Bob Rogers.

He says the department has received numerous complaints about Materials Packaging over the past few years.

The concrete company has even been fined.  The most recent problems revolve around one particular building.  You can clearly see the dust in photos provided by the health department.  Officials say the amount is unacceptable.

"It's something they should be concerned about," says Rogers.

We wanted to know what the company had to say.

"I have to contact the president of the company first," an employee told us when we walked in.

He later said non one from the company would be willing to comment on camera.  Health officials say the company has been cooperative with them, thus far.  And by early next year, the company may be required to have an employee on board who can better monitor emissions and keep the dust down.

"Once again, our job is to minimize it and make sure it happens as little as possible," says Rogers.

"I hope they can do something about it," says Charles Debose.

And bring his days in the dust to an end.

The health department sent a letter to the company asking them to review the operation.  They have 30 days to respond to the letter.