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Stafford dumps Mt. Trashmore with injunction

Harris County Attorney Mike Stafford obtained an injunction against Ricky Gandy and Halco Waste Container, Inc. ordering them to clean-up two illegal waste disposal sites in East Harris County. Gandy, acting through his companies Halco Waste Container, Inc. and Old Orchard.

Trucking and Waste, has been illegally disposing of waste (including demolition debris, household garbage, cardboard, plastic, tires, and wood) at 16120 Market Street and 14807 Garrett Road.

The property at 16120 Market Street, dubbed “Mount Trashmore” by neighborhood residents, is in Channelview. The property at 14807 Garrett Road is in the Sheldon area. Earlier this year, citizens began calling Harris County to complain about odors and rats coming from the Market Street property. Harris County Pollution Control repeatedly cited Mr. Gandy for public endangerment and failure to comply with various environmental laws. The Harris County Fire Marshal issued a Fire Marshal Order against Gandy for numerous fire hazards.

In May 2004, Stafford filed suit against Gandy and Halco. During a two day court hearing, various government investigators testified that both Mr. Gandy’s sites were being operated in violation of Texas law. Phil Rogers, an investigator with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, testified that he had personally inspected both sites and had discovered numerous fire hazards. Andy Vance, an investigator with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, testified that both sites were in violation of state environmental law.

On August 4, 2004, Judge Randy Wilson issued a temporary injunction against defendants Gandy and Halco. Judge Wilson found that both 16120 Market Street and 14807 Garrett Road were in violation of state law and that the large quantities of combustible material stored at these sites endangered human health and welfare. The injunction orders the defendants to stop disposing of solid waste at these sites (unless the defendants obtained a permit or registration from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and to remove all existing waste from the sites.

In discussing today’s court ruling, Stafford stated, “The County Attorney’s Office is delighted with the Court Order. We believe that this ruling protects the public health and safety. It achieves justice for the citizens who have suffered so much.”