Green Group rears its head in Laredo dump fight
The owner of the Pescadito dump has detailed his relationship with Green Group in sworn testimony, months before a showdown in Austin over the toxic waste site planned outside Laredo.
C.Y. Benavides was deposed in Austin by lawyers fighting the planned dump and confirmed a deal was cut with Green Group in June of 2012. Rancho Viejo Ventures, LLC would have had Green Group putting a million dollars in the planned dump in exchange for 55 percent of the project.
Green Group was sued by residents of Uniontown, Alabama, claiming coal ash contamination from the Arrowhead Landfill was making them sick and destroying their land.
The sworn deposition, obtained by Dolcefino Consulting, shows Benavides went into business with Green Group without basic research about their legal troubles with coal ash.
What may be most frightening is that Benavides won’t say if the planned Pescadito dump will prohibit toxic superfund waste like the Kingston, Tennessee environmental disaster from coming to the prime ranchland near Laredo.
“We’re getting way ahead of where we are at with coal ash. I’m just saying that our permit allows me to take all kinds of different waste streams,” Benavides testified.
The formal agreement with Green Group has now ended as the landfill fight has drug on, but Benavides testified the company is still in informal communication with his family. Dolcefino Consulting spotted a Green Group consultant at a meeting about Pescadito just last July.
“Can you commit to not working with Green Group at this landfill in the future,” Benavides was asked. “Sure,” he replied.
Landfill opponent Pamela Jordan says the Green Group revelations confirm their greatest fear of the waste that could contaminate the area.
“I am not sure they were ever out, I don’t believe it,” says Jordan.
The TCEQ rejected the planned Green Group dump in Hempstead, Texas after opponents proved their engineering was so flawed, digging the dump would have contaminated the water table with trash. A legal fight is underway to stop the planned Green Group dump in Caldwell County.
The fight over the Pescadito dump will be heard in July by the State Office of Administrative Hearings in Austin, then it will head to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The City of Laredo and Webb County Commissioners are both against the project and FEMA is looking at flood plain maps because of major concerns flooding could further pollute the Rio Grande River.
Dolcefino Consulting has been investigating Green Group for nearly four years and details the company’s political and legal fights on a website called www.exposegreengroup.com. The Pescadito fight will soon be added to that website for Laredo residents to keep track of.
“Green Group has a scary record in Texas already, but what may more frightening is that Mr. Benavides wants a permit to bring dangerous waste to Laredo and people don’t even know who is going to run the place,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “People are right to be deathly afraid of coal ash, and what it will do to the colonias just miles from the Pescadito site.
“The TCEQ currently doesn’t require you to identify the people who will handle this waste before they grant you a permit. The TCEQ has caught Green Group engineers destroying test records red-handed in the past so they should be barred from any dump in this state. Their involvement in Laredo means we are now engaged in a thorough investigation of Pescadito and the threat it poses to Laredo.”EXCERPT-FROM-C.Y.-BENAVIDES-DEPOSITION