NewsChannel 11 has questioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about why it has taken so long to get total compliance at the Scrub-A-Dubb (SAD) business site. The EPA said it was not a priority.
However, why would the city wait more than 20 years and then plan a meeting to take action against SAD?
"I help city departments comply with environmental regulations," said Dan Dennison, Lubbock Environmental Compliance Manager for the City of Lubbock. Dennison says those are his job duties. Not to regulate business sites like SAD.
The EPA got involved four years ago after concerns there were serious environmental law violations. They found hazardous petroleum by-products in the soil. At that point it was out of the city's hands.
"You have to look at the laws that are involved. The ones that would be of concern would be the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act. Those types of environmental laws are enforced by the EPA and TCEQ," said Dennison.
RCRA, created by Congress in 1976, says that any person who handles hazardous waste must find safe ways of disposing it. With these federal laws in place, the city of Lubbock wonders why SAD owner Mr. Bill Phillips has gotten away with so much, for so long.
"A 20 year time period is long enough to not look into something. I mean there needs to be assessment because there are so many barrels. We have had multiple cases of things that have been released from the property and going down the bar ditch on the side of the road," said Dennison.
Dennison says Wednesday afternoon, city staff will meet to talk about how they could tackle this site using code violations. The owner could get ticketed.
City of Lubbock Concerned over Possible Water Contamination
There is still no proof that a North Lubbock business has done anything to clean up its contamination site. The company, Scrub-A-Dubb, reconditions old barrels. The Environmental Protection Agency has turned on the heat to get Scrub-A-Dubb in compliance. But some other environmentalist would argue the heat isn't hot enough. NewsChannel 11's Cecelia Coy spent two months investigating this story.