Conroe homestead residents take neighboring businesses to court over hazardous waste

By John Suayan | Dec 22, 2015

Houston attorneys Dennis C. Reich of the law firm Reich & Binstock and Benjamin H. Rose of Harwood Rose, PLLC have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a family whose Conroe homestead was allegedly contaminated by hazardous waste.

The lengthy complaint, filed Dec. 21 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, shows that lead plaintiff Carolyn Everett and her relatives live on approximately 15 acres of residential property located at 13897 Old Texaco Road, which is in the vicinity of commercial property owned and operated by defendants Tram Chemicals, Inc.; Walden Environmental Chemistries, Inc., doing business as Pro Stix Services and doing business as GWEB Trading Company; Walden Performance Products, Inc.; Maxcong, LLC; Comagle Management, LLC; G&C Management, LLC; Enrique Bendesky; Glen E. Walden; and five unidentified individuals.

The plaintiffs’ property, known as the Kowis Homestead, has been in their family for six generations, the suit says.

Court papers assert the defendants were engaged in a chemical tank cleaning business, and the business’s activities included discharging wastewater into a nearby drainage ditch that ran onto the Kowis Homestead.

“The defendants’ business involved putting liquid soap through a heat treatment process to form soap pellets which they used for industrial cleaning purposes,” the original petition explains.

“As a result of the defendants’ generation, storage, and disposal on the polluting site, hazardous waste was released in the soil, into a roadside drainage ditch, and into the groundwater and have subsequently migrated from the polluting site to the Kowis Homestead.”

According to the plaintiffs, the waste in question killed the fish in their pond during the early part of 2014, as well as sent a foreign substance surging into the property. A subsequent Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigation determined that there “were multiple indications of an unlawful discharge of chemicals, and evidence of the chemicals polluting property downstream.”

The suit says that the Kowis Homestead continued to be inundated by pollutants for a significant period of time despite a few complaints to the TCEQ, arguing even bevy of deer that would flock to the homestead for generations “will no longer visit.”

It ultimately claims the complainants have been forced to rely on truckloads of bottled water to subsist and survive.

They consequently seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:15-CV-3672

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