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Lone Star Green: Policing Eagle Ford

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Hector Zertuche of Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department


After observing the Frio County deputies learn how to cite trucks for dripping oilfield waste on the roads or hauling without permits or proper marking on their trailers, I listened to them recount recent exploits involving drugs, guns and stolen cars over lunch. While some arrests were tinted by an appreciated dark humor, the crimes leading to the arrests were less important to these officers than the arrests themselves.

As Ockels said: “You can not give a damn about the water but just be all cranked up about dealing with a felon.”

Though rare, local officials still sometimes rise to defend the right of a landowner to dump on their own property. However, they almost always back off when informed of the criminal nature of dumping and water pollution.

“‘I’m for crime’ is a bad platform, once you get down to it,” Ockels said.

Texas Illegal Dumping Resource Center trainings are being held this month in Killeen, Cuero, San Antonio, Waco and Nacogdoches. See tidrc.com for details.

Greg Harman is a San Antonio-based writer. He publishes his column, Lone Star Green, every other week.

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