Blue Ridge Landfill given $44,000 penalty, enforcement order by TCEQ for alleged violations

Pearland residents in Shadow Creek Ranch who are suffering from an odor issue are finally seeing the results of months-long investigations into the Blue Ridge Landfill.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a proposed agreed order to Blue Ridge Landfill on Feb. 7 to resolve two citations issued by the state. The first was issued in October for a "nuisance odor" violation and was the first time the state identified the Fresno-based landfill as the alleged source of the odor wafting over west Pearland. The second citation, which was issued on Jan. 3, was for an alleged failure to comply with self-monitoring of surface emissions monitoring regulations, according to TCEQ documents.

The order calls for the landfill to pay a penalty of $43,712 and submit a plan for self-monitoring within 30 days of the order's effective date that would outline odor prevention best practices. The plan at a minimum would include odor minimization plans for a variety of sites and storage tanks, plans for 24-hour odor surveillance at the property line and at off-site locations, procedures for responding to odor complaints, compliance with surface emissions monitoring requirements and detailed record keeping procedures.

The landfill may be eligible for a one-time deferment of $8,742 if the landfill "satisfactorily complies" with the provisions of the order within its listed time frame, according to TCEQ documents.

The landfill is also eligible to offset a portion of the penalty by performing or financially contributing to environmental programs through local governments or nonprofits, which can range from replacing old school buses with energy efficient ones to habitat restoration at the Armand Bayou Nature Center, according to the TCEQ site.

The landfill does not admit guilt by agreeing to the order or paying a penalty. The landfill can litigate provisions of the proposed agreed order and amend it prior to signing.

If the landfill does not agree to the order, the case can be referred to the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Once the landfill agrees, failure to comply could result in referral to the Texas Attorney General, increased penalties in future enforcement actions or other relief sought by the TCEQ.

Pearland residents can find more information about past citations, the order and other investigative material online at the city of Pearland's West Pearland Air Quality page, which also posts updates from the city's Odor Task Force meetings.


MOST RECENT

Kelsey-Seybold received its first set of Moderna vaccines in December and started administering them to first responders and clinic staff, according to Kelsey-Seybold representatives. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed based on need in Brazoria County

Once there are enough vaccines to be distributed to the general public, Brazoria County will post information on where to receive a vaccine on its website, according to the county.

Residents can now submit candidate applications for Friendswood mayor and Friendswood City Council positions. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Friendswood accepting candidate applications for mayor, City Council

Residents can now submit candidate applications for Friendswood mayor and Friendswood City Council positions.

The project will convert the existing roadway to a four-lane concrete curb and gutter divided roadway section from Beltway 8 to Broadway Street. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Mykawa Road widening in Pearland to go to bid this year

The project will convert the existing roadway to a four-lane concrete curb and gutter divided roadway section from Beltway 8 to Broadway Street.

The city of Friendswood has finalized the list of streets it will work on throughout the year, with a percentage of sales tax revenue being allocated to street maintenance and reconstruction. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Friendswood street repairs to continue in 2021 following voter approval

The chosen roadways include concrete and asphalt streets throughout the city.

La Cocina de Roberto launched its second eatery in The Woodlands area in January. (Courtesy La Cocina de Roberto)
La Cocina de Roberto restaurant opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

From Jan. 19-29, Coalition for the Homeless and staff from The Way Home will conduct the 2021 Homeless Count & Survey, in which they will work to identify sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. (Adobe Stock)
Coalition for the Homeless, The Way Home to conduct annual Greater Houston-area homeless count Jan. 19-29

The results of the 2021 homeless count and survey are expected to be released to the public this spring.

Stopping storm surge: Coastal barrier aims to protect Greater Houston area

After five years of work, a study of how to protect the Texas Gulf Coast from storms is nearing final approval, and it could result in a slew of some of the longest and most expensive projects in the state’s history.

Friendswood ISD to execute $128 million in renovations via bond funds

After voters approved a $128 million bond package in November, Friendswood ISD leaders began the process of executing renovations on four campuses and constructing a new 900-student elementary school.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar shared a new revenue estimate for the 2022-23 biennium Jan. 11. (Courtesy Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)
Comptroller projects drop in state revenue, potential for economic uptick for next biennium

Despite the slight reduction in expected revenue for the state's 2022-23 budget, recovery could be on the horizon.

Council approved the creation of an ad hoc citizens committee to address utility billing at its Jan. 11 meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: Pearland City Council approves creation of citizen committee to address utility billing

The committee is one of the ways the city can rebuild trust with the citizens after a 60-day lag in water billing came to light in February 2020, council members said.

This will be the 43rd annual event known as the nation’s original MLK Day parade sanctioned by Martin Luther King Sr. in 1978. (Courtesy Black Heritage Society)
Houston’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade goes virtual for 2021 event

This will be the 43rd annual event known as the nation’s original MLK Day parade sanctioned by Martin Luther King Sr. in 1978.

Friendswood has about 1,900 acres of undeveloped land, which represents about 14% of the city’s total size of about 13,000 acres. (Community Impact staff)
Friendswood has 14% of city left to develop

Friendswood has about 1,900 acres of undeveloped land, which represents about 14% of the city’s total size of about 13,000 acres.