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‘Toxic dump’ dead in the water, for now
by Joe Baker
Aug 08, 2014 | 305 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Joe Baker

Countywide staff

KARNES COUNTY – Just two days before a hearing before the Texas Railroad Commission, R360 Environmental Solutions (previously known as U.S. Liquids of Louisiana) withdrew their application for a permit to build a solid waste facility on Farm-To-Market Road 99 at the Karnes-Atascosa county line.

The proposed facility, referred to by county leaders as a “toxic waste” facility met opposition from Karnes County residents and local officials.

Karnes County Commissioners Court passed a resolution opposed to the construction and operation of the facility at the location where it was planned to be installed. The foul odors produced by such a facility would make it impossible to live or work nearby, county officials said.

Sue Carter, who is one of the area residents opposed to the facility, said the fact that the company withdrew its application may have been due in part to the overwhelming strength of the protest mounted by citizens of Karnes and Atascosa Counties and the specific legal protest brought forward by adjacent landowners.

“Evidence presented in the first four days of hearings uncovered serious issues regarding the accuracy and thoroughness of the USLL application,” Carter explained. “USLL may at some future time reapply with a modified facility but for now the proposed application for a 120-acre facility containing six four-acre pits storing oil waste two or three stories high is withdrawn.”

Carter said those who protested the facility expressed thanks to Karnes County Judge Richard Butler and the county commissioners for approving a resolution at their July 8 meeting in opposition of the application. They also expressed thanks to Commissioner Shelby Dupnik who took the time to drive to Zapata to see a facility similar to the one being proposed. They also thanked Atascosa County Judge Diana Bautista and Commissioner Bill Carroll for their support and plans to attend the July 18 meeting.

Carter said anyone with questions or comments related to the proposed facility are welcome to contact her at 210-710-4896 or Jr. Kellner at 830-583-5973.

“We have recently met with the adjacent property owners in an attempt to reach an improved facility design that further takes their concerns into consideration,” said R360 Environmental Solutions Senior Vice President Jeff Burrier.

“Our plans are to address their concerns and submit a revised application in the future.”

Burris added that the majority of the property is in Atascosa County with only a small piece in Karnes.

Burris said his company hopes to move forward with a revised plan for a waste disposal site on the same property.

U.S. Liquids of Louisiana of Jennings, Lousiana, was fined $13,552 for violating spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) regulations outlined by the Clean Water Act.

A federal inspection by the Environmental Protection Agency of the company’s Bateman Island marine terminal in St. Mary Parish revealed the terminals’s SPCC plan failed to provide a prediction of equipment failures that could result in discharges, personnel working at the facility had no training on the operation and maintenance of equipment to prevent discharges, and facility inspections had not been conducted.
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