Green Group is trying to put towers of smelly trash in a neighborhood near you. Wait till you see how much money they are spending to influence Texas politicians.
According to the latest filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, Green Group has passed out nearly $2 MILLION DOLLARS just to lobbyists.
We’ve been keeping track.
Joey Bennett, Ron Lewis, Jay Howard and Dan Pearson continue to represent Green Group in Texas and rake in sizeable paychecks.
Joey Bennett has been on the payroll since 2012. He’s made at least $574,992.99 from Green Group. Bennett has worked on the staffs of four different members of the Texas Senate and now runs his own firm.
Ron Lewis has pocketed almost one million dollars from Green Group Holdings and Green First LLC. Lewis was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1985 to 2003. He started his own firm in 2003.
Howard’s been a lobbyist for the company since 2016 and has a max total compensation of $154,998. Howard is a partner at HillCo Partners.
Dan Pearson has represented Green Group and 130 Environmental Park since 2016. The entities have jointly paid Pearson a max compensation of $224,995. Pearson worked for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts under Bob Bullock. He is now a partner and chief operating officer at HillCo Partners.
According to records filed with the TEC, Green Group has spent $1.9 million on lobbyists to push for garbage dumps in at least the two Texas cities they’ve admitted publicly, Hempstead and near Lockhart.
After a Green Group guy showed up in Laredo folks want to know if they are involved in the controversial Pescadito site. The developers even want to bring coal ash across the border from Mexico. It’s hard not to notice Green Group has a coal ash plant in Uniontown, Alabama.
“Green Group is using lots of special-interest cash to influence politicians and get this potentially dangerous landfill built against the wishes of the community,” said Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.
“Maybe it explains why the TCEQ ignored its own safety rules and granted Green Group a first round permit,” Dolcefino said. “Maybe it explains why Texas lawmakers haven’t made it a law for companies who destroy their test results, probably on purpose, to lose the right to get their permit. It is pure garbage not to hold garbage companies accountable.”
When you see someone thanking a garbage company for bringing a giant smelly dump to town….you got to wonder why? Time to call out the so called “TOWN CRIER” of Lytton Springs.
New campaign reports are in from Caldwell County and they show Republican Hoppy Haden only has thirty dollars left in the bank in
his campaign to be the County Judge, just days before early voting begins.
Haden’s campaign treasurer is Amelia Smith.
A reminder of Haden’s curious conduct in the fight over the 17- story tall Highway 130 garbage dump. Haden says he’s against the dump, but both Smith and Haden were the original organizers of a group called “Growth and Progress” in Caldwell County, that argued FOR the dump as “economic development.”
The Lockhart Chamber of Commerce fought to keep Haden’s emails about the dump secret, and Haden was one of the commissioners who voted to end the legal fight with Green Group. Haden has yet to explain why he fought the release of the records.
“As a member of Commissioners Court Hoppy Haden allowed more than $100,000 to be spent fighting the simple release of public records”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “This election should be about transparency.”
Democrat Alfred Munoz is opposed to the dump.
We found this interesting on Haden’s campaign website, “We will be facing infrastructure challenges which will include roads, sewer and water supply issues. I believe my background in construction and environmental issues makes me uniquely qualified to help manage the challenges that will be faced by our county in the future. I promise to lead Caldwell County with integrity, honesty and ethics and I humbly ask you for your vote.”
Haden is expected Thursday at an important campaign event called “Caldwell County Meet the Candidates.” It will be held at the First Baptist Church connection center located at 200 S Blanco St.
See you there, Hoppy…
Waller County Residents fight a dump and win… learn from it.
Let’s say an out-of-state conglomerate wants to put a massive dump near an aquifer and right next to a flood plain. Add a high hazard dam right next door that secret government maps detail 318 people’s lives are at risk if the dam breaches.
Wouldn’t we want to know if the engineers and geologists who investigated the site told the truth about the site’s safety?
Amidst growing evidence, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ignored its own rules to approve a permit for the Caldwell County dump. It is time for the engineers and geologists who destroy their work to be held accountable.
Thursday morning at 10:00 am in front of the Texas State Capitol, opponents of a planned 17- story tall tower of trash near Lockhart will hold a news conference to announce the filing of formal complaints with the two agencies who police the conduct of engineers and geoscientists.
These complaints allege a series of professional misconduct against Kerry Don Maroney, an engineer with the environmental consulting firm Biggs & Mathews Environmental, and John Michael Snyder, a geologist at the same consulting firm.
Maroney served as engineer of record for the controversial 130 Environmental Park dump in Caldwell County, Texas, just north of Lockhart. The landfill permit application was submitted by 130 Environmental Park LLC, a subsidiary of Green Group Holdings. The complaint alleges that Maroney used his state engineering seal to approve work he improperly supervised – a violation of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers rules.
“In the last several years, Mr. Maroney has engaged in conduct that appears to have violated the stringent ethical and professional requirements of Texas engineers,” reads the complaint. “This conduct has resulted in the permitting of at least one facility, based on Mr. Maroney’s representations and engineer’s seal, which threatens to impact the health and safety of Texas residents and their natural resources.”
We now know the consulting firm of Biggs & Matthews Environmental was caught destroying soil samples in three separate landfill projects, Waller County, Jack County, and Caldwell County. Why the TCEQ continues to rely on this consulting firm for landfill science is the real question.
The second complaint is leveled against Biggs & Mathews Environmental geoscientist, John Michael Snyder. The complaint provides evidence of unprofessional conduct in three separate landfill projects.
“Despite his experience with landfill permit application proceedings and the opposition they attract, Snyder has a history of discarding all relevant records and samples before the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (the agency responsible for permitting landfills) completes its review of the application,” the complaint reads. “This not only violates professional geoscientist standards, but it also violates TCEQ’s rules and legal obligations.”
Snyder was the geologist on the failed Highway 6 landfill in Waller County. Opponents had to fight for years and spend more than a million dollars to finally get access to test Biggs & Matthews Environmental’ s representations about the safety of the dump. Once the opponents were granted access to the site, it became apparent that Snyder’s representations regarding groundwater at the site were false, with serious repercussions.
Had the Highway 6 landfill been built, it would have cut through the water table and placed at risk the drinking water for tens of thousands of people.
Even worse, the TCEQ knew of this history before it met in November 2017 to approve the Caldwell County dump permit. The permit was approved even though Biggs & Mathews Environmental was doing the consulting work again, and once again they had destroyed data and soil samples that formed the basis for their representations to TCEQ regarding the adequacy of the site for a landfill.
The TCEQ failed to enforce its own rule. According to 30 Texas Administrative Code §305.47: “A permittee … shall keep records, throughout the term of the permit or order, of data used to complete the final [landfill permit] application and any supplemental information.”
The legislature is looking at the situation as an example of a deeply flawed TCEQ permitting process.
Environmental attorney Marisa Perales told the Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development about a litany of problems, specifically citing the fact that the TCEQ never bent to its own rules with the Biggs & Mathews Environmental projects.
Perales insists Biggs & Mathews Environmental’ s conduct should halt the dump entirely. It amounts to a denial of due process, she said, for the dump’s opponents to not have a chance to check the work.
“If the data has been discarded and there is no way to actually verify the data that supports the information in the application, then they should start all over because there’s no way to know whether what they’ve submitted is accurate or not,” said Perales during the September 5 hearing. “If we go through a hearing and it’s proven that you were unable to satisfy the TCEQ requirements, then you don’t get the permit. You don’t get another chance, you don’t get another bite at the apple. You just don’t get your permit.”
WHERE: Front Steps of Texas State Capitol Building – 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701
10 am, Thursday, September 13, 2018
WHO: Frank Sughrue, Marisa Perales, Wayne Dolcefino