The Laredo Fight
They always come up with the nicest sounding names for a nasty tower of toxic trash.
The owner of the Pescadito Environmental Resource Center won’t even promise not to bring superfund waste to this beautiful stretch of ranch land east of Laredo - or the dreaded coal ash linked to so much misery for the residents of Uniontown, Alabama.
This eight-year long fight is highly personal.
Controversial businessman C.Y. Benavides and his family want to use some of their sprawling ranch to dump a wide range of waste that could threaten the land and water of families who are relatives, who shared close friendships with the Benavides family for decades. There is a fear the wind will carry the danger across the small ranchitos on colonias downwind.
The fight has torn those families and friendships apart.
The Laredo City Council and the Webb County Commissioners vehemently oppose the project, citing the fear flooding would spread waste all the way to Rio Grande. In Texas, that should be the end of the fight, but it never is. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality can simply choose to ignore the local political will.
In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) can grant Pescadito a permit without knowing who will run the plant, without knowing who has the expertise to handle this waste, including waste from across the border in Mexico.
And that’s where Green Group rears its head. It was rumored for years Green Group was involved in the Pescadito plant, since there were plans to ship coal ash waste into Laredo from other states to the new dump.
C.Y. Benavides has now testified under oath, and the involvement of Green Group is a rumor no more.