Earlier this year, under cover of darkness, a tanker truck illegally dumped its cargo of toxic waste fluids along eight miles of a rural road in Karnes County, Texas. An investigation by the local Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) identified the offending company, and now Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva wants to see the appropriate punishment.
The investigation was helped by a video recording made by eyewitnesses that saw the truck and followed it to its base. The video and GPS tracking data allowed authorities to identify On Point Services, an oil and gas drilling company that uses fracking, as the source of the waste chemicals.
The TCEQ and TRC have since brought civil charges against On Point, but Sheriff Villanueva feels that that is not enough.
“We are prepared to ask the district attorney’s office to review the case for action,” Villanueva said. “There are two different levels of enforcement here: the civil by the state and the criminal by the county.”