The City of Carthage was served a $13,876 fine from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality after violations at a waste transfer station in November of 2017.

City Manager Steve Williams said the site, located about 0.8 miles west of the intersection of Lasalle Parkway and U.S. 59, is run by Waste Connections, a contract trash company.

“They ended up paying the fine out there because they’re responsible for what goes on out there, and one of the things they wrote them up for was they were not hauling off that waste quick enough,” Williams said. “So it was sitting out there in the lot getting rained on, and so that was part of it. ... We wrote the check — because they don’t fine them, they fine the city — and then they reimbursed us for it. That’s part of our contract with them, that they’re to run that, and any violations, they’re responsible for those.”

The penalty was one of 28 approved this month by TCEQ, commission records show. There were five violations listed against the City of Carthage by TCEQ:

  • Failure to employ at least one licensed person who supervises or manages the operations of a municipal solid waste facility.
  • Failure to design storage and processing areas to control and contain spills and contaminated water from leaving the facility. Specifically, wash water from the daily washing of the compactor at the facility was running through a small trench at the back of the property and onto an adjacent property.
  • Failure to limit the the storage of waste to no more than one week after a significant work stoppage occurs due to a mechanical breakdown. Specifically, waste was observed piling up on the tipping floor, and the facility compactor was full. Additionally, open-top roll-off boxes and enclosed compactor boxes were full, and a large pile of waste was seen at the rear of the facility resulting from the breakdown of one of the facility’s hauling trucks.
  • Failure to maintain records of the registration, approved site layout plan and site operating plan, random inspection records, training records and any other required plan or other related document at the facility.
  • Failure to provide financial assurance for closure, post-closure and corrective action cost estimates.

Williams said they worked with Waste Connections to fix all the issues.

“We worked with them to make sure that they’re hauling off everything timely,” he said. “They had some trucking issues — what created that — but to make sure that they’re taken care of. What you don’t want to happen is to have trash sitting out and to have rain rain on it, and then that rain run through it, and then it runs off on the ground and you could have contamination. And we actually tested around there, and there was really no contamination, but they don’t care about that — they just want to make sure you don’t have that possibility.”

TCEQ’s document states that the corrective measures were implemented between Feb. 1 and June 19, 2018. An agreed order in the case was approved Oct. 23, 2019 by TCEQ.

Because the city and Waste Connections agreed to pay the fine, fix the issues and not dispute anything, $2,775 was deferred, and they only had to pay $11,101. That amount was paid Oct. 23, 2018.