Nature & Environment

TCEQ Fines City of Dallas for Pit in Trinity Forest

The city has till January 26 to get things squared away.

After a contractor dug the pit, it filled with water.
After a contractor dug the pit, it filled with water.

In the December issue of D Magazine, I wrote about a pit the size of AT&T Stadium that was dug in the Trinity Forest, on land owned by the city, to get dirt for the Trinity Forest Golf Course (story link and update to it here). Now the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued a “field citation” to the city. This morning I talked to Sarah Standifer, who runs the department of Trinity Watershed Management for the city. She said they’d received notice of the field citation late Friday. Her folks, she said, are still trying to reach the TCEQ to get some more specifics, but the upshot is that they need to get a “stormwater pollution prevention plan” in place, part of which would be re-establishing some vegetation on the site. Standifer guessed that the trouble contacting the TCEQ was probably related to everyone being on holiday.

The field citation comes with a $875 fine. That is the standard number, which I learned when I called the TCEQ this morning and spoke to Michael Sessions in the DFW regional office. He answered his phone on the third ring. Sessions told me that notice of field citation, with his name and number on it, was sent to the city, via certified mail, on December 13, which was last Tuesday, not Friday. The city has 30 days from that point to pay the fine and 45 days to get its plan in place. That’s January 26.

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Comments

  • lakewoodhobo

    $875 is like one second of Exxxotica defense. Sofa cushion change.

    • I agree. It’s a pittance. But that’s how the TCEQ works. There is apparently no sliding scale on a field citation. Remember, though: the EPA is still investigating, too.

  • Hal Barker

    Wait until the City Council votes to build a 1000 foot dam along the western part of the Big Dig wall so Trinity Watershed Management can turn the Big Dig into a recreation area.

    Are you listening down there at Marilla?

    Think probably $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 for the design and implementation. Then think spillway and pipeline down to the Trinity. All because no one thought anything about how the Big Dig would be used in the future. I actually spoke with the engineers about this while we were standing there watching the huge dump trucks and excavators. It was all up in the air while the pit was being excavated and still is to this day.

    The alternative is to continue the landfill project already underway. But that is another story for down the road so to speak. I’m told no permits are required to continue to use the Big Dig into a public landfill. No regulation, no nothing.

  • mrEmannE

    Texas HAS a “Commission on Environmental Quality”? WTF is Governor Greg “Heeeeeey” Abbott doing in Austin these days, just sitting around?
    Oh, wait…

  • NealK

    “Sessions told me that notice of field citation, with his name and number on it, was sent to the city, via certified mail, on December 13, which was last Tuesday, not Friday.”

    I’m not defending the city or their illegal mud pit, but yes, this is how snail mail works.

  • Rob M

    The city of Dallas knows damn well when and when they don’t need to do a SWPPP for a project. Sounds like another failed circumstance of the city being complete Nazis to the private sector and not holding themselves to the same standards. Per their troubles back in ’06 with the EPA judgement for which they are still under a consent decree for because they have not followed through with a wetland project.

    Unfortunately, the city is too far gone to the liberal left, and have the far left (the real stupid liberals) working in the city. Much like the financial crisis they have on their hands with the police pensions. They aren’t corrupt, they are just too stupid to know they are stupid.