Estrada cited for dumping demolition materials off Hwy. 281

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

In the first large illegal dumping case of the year in Jim Wells County, one businessman was cited recently for illegally dumping 500 pounds or more off of the U.S. Highway 281 bypass.

Higinio Lorenzo Estrada, owner of Reliable Trucking, was caught on Jan. 10 leaving his property at 1013 South Hwy 281, where JWC Abatement Officer Hector Zertuche noticed a large pile of construction debris, according to reports.

Zertuche questioned Estrada about the pile, who replied that it was from a job site, and he intended to use the debris as fill on his property. Estrada said he was unaware that it was illegal to haul construction debris to an unauthorized dump site, reports said.

While Zertuche was at the site with Estrada, a large dump truck pulled up from a work site at Fifth and Aransas streets, where Reliable Trucking was conducting a demolition cleanup.

Zertuche told Estrada the material in that truck had to go to a legal dump, and Estrada immediately told the driver to take the material to the dump in San Diego.

Before the first truck left, a second one showed up at the dump site, and that driver was also told to head to the landfill in San Diego, according to reports.

Zertuche photographed the illegal site, which covered a debris area of 138 feet by 12 feet, he said.

After checking the permit on the home demolition site in the 100 block of East Fifth Street and reviewing the application for the permit provided by the City of Alice, Zertuche found that Estrada's company had signed a contract specifying the debris would be hauled to a lawful disposal site, in this case the city landfill.

The bottom of the permit states, "All provisions of the law and ordinances governing this type of work will be complied with whether specified herein or not. Granting of a permit does not presume to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of any other state or local law regulating construction or the performance of construction."

Zertuche said Estrada's signature is below this statement, dated Jan 8. Copies of this information, along with Zertuche's report and pictures, were sent to the District Attorney's office for review.