Protest held before first Milwhite Inc. lawsuit hearing

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A court hearing began today for the City of Brownsville’s case against Milwhite Incorporated.

The case involves residents of Rey Jaime Street affected by dust from Milwhite’s work in the area.

The City of Brownsville is taking action against Milwhite incorporated over dust affecting residents’ health and property. 

The first of several hearings began today at the Cameron County Courthouse.

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Affected residents held a brief protest outside the courthouse before joining their lawyers and Milwhite’s legal team into the courtroom.

Members from both parties took the stand to review the evidence.

Judge David Sanchez of Cameron County is overseeing the case.

“They’re violating ordinances, they need to fix it. And if they need to pay for that, they need to pay for that," said Sanchez. He emphasized that keeping residents safe is his top priority.

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Armando DeLeon III, Chairman of the Milwhite Inc. board was the first to take the stand. 

DeLeon's legal counsel has taken into consideration his past violations of ordinances.

He argues the current dust comes from beyond their facility.

"At one time last year, there was. But ever since, the dust is coming from several locations around my property," said DeLeon.

Taking the stand for the City of Brownsville was Martin Vega, Assistant Director of Land Development.

He responded to Milwhite’s questioning of their right to “grandfather” or maintain operations honored by laws before.

“One thing that has to be considered is that if there is complaints or a nuisance going on, the city does have to act. We’re obligated to do so," said Vega.

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The city is hoping to get an injunction against Milwhite in order to protect residents from the methods of operation that are currently being used. 

Milwhite argues they are not in violation of any ordinance and should be allowed to operate. 

Hearings are to be continued next week. 

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