HEMPSTEAD – It’s a no-go in Hempstead.
October 6, 2015
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has put a hold on plans for a proposed landfill.
News 3 has reaction from many of the key figures opposed the the project which would have been built near Highway 6 and U.S. 290 outside of Hempstead.
The TCEQ returned the application of Pintail Landfill after finding more than 400 deficiencies for its site near Hempstead.
“We were worried about the chances of our water, the future of our land,” said Diana Tatum of Waller County.
Tatum is a volunteer with the Citizens Against the Landfill. Garage sales like one they had Tuesday have been raising money to cover more than $1.7 million in costs.
“So many of the different ranches here have been family owned for decades and decades and decades and they wanted to leave it to their children,” she said.
Waller County Judge Trey Duhon says the county started fighting the project this spring after previous support from a past commission.
“It really is a good day for Waller County but it’s also a good day for the State of Texas and for citizens because this at least shows that the TCEQ does not just mindlessly rubber stamp applications,” Duhon said.
While TCEQ’s decision doesn’t completely put the landfill to bed County Commissioners we spoke with see this a major victory and there’s a lot less likelihood of one being built now.
County Commissioner John Amsler was upset with previous commissioner support of the project including a host agreement to exclusively allow the landfill, but is optimistic about a new era of leadership.
“I have been very outspoken about my opinions considering the conduct of some of our elected officials. I am quit convinced that from the beginning some of them were acting in a manner complicit with the aims of the landfill people. In some cases they were downright collusive,” Amsler claimed.
Frazier’s Ornamental and Architectural Concrete would have been downwind from the landfill.
“Would have had a lot of trucks especially crossing and put, given a lot of debris to the roads and also danger to people driving to College Station,” said Fernando Gomez, General Manager of Frazier’s.
Hempstead Mayor Michael Wolfe say the city spent nearly $1 million in legal fees.
“We’re worth every penny you know when you look at it it’s been definitely well worth it,” he said.
A spokesperson for the landfill told us they are still evaluating their next options but couldn’t share a timeline on that.
We also reached out to Ernest Kaufmann the President of Pintail but he was unavailable to speak with us by phone.