1980 by Troy Nessner

Alex, Donald M. “Letters: Waste Site a Threat to Region’s Future,” Corpus Christi Caller, February 13, 1980. Accessed April 26, 2022. America’s Historical Newspapers.

            The writer of this letter calls the TECO site an “ecological time bomb” and suggests that people may not understand how much the TECO site has contaminated the area for another twenty years.  The author then goes on to directly dispute a statement from TECO which stated that there has been “no adverse effect to the public” by suggesting that the stench has driven people from their homes and their tractors.

Access information: all newspaper articles can be found in the database America’s Historical Newspapers, available at TAMU-CC Bell Library. TAMU-CC faculty, staff, and students can access databases for free both on and off campus. Community members can visit to use the online resources but need to check in at the circulation desk and asked to be logged on to a computer.

Brown, Hal. “Suit to Close Dump Site is Asked,” Corpus Christi Times, January 22, 1980.  Accessed April 26, 2022. America’s Historical Newspapers.

            A lawsuit is brought against TECO by farmers and state representative Arnold Gonzales.  They claim that the site was only permitted a small amount of chemical waste, but that PCB (a carcinogen) was dumped at the site with some of it being brought in from as far as Tennessee.  Gonzales also claimed that TECO dug a trench that allowed for water from the site to flow into the Petronila Creek.

Citizen’s Committee for Passage of Bond Issue. “Tell Corpus You Love Her: Vote Yes February 20 for City Improvements.” Corpus Christi, TX, 1980. 1977-1984 vertical file. Local History Room, La Retama Library, Corpus Christi, Texas.

            This pamphlet from 1980 covered a host of bond issues that were being voted on.  Included in this were a $2,255,000 bond for storm sewers, a $800,000 bond for sanitary landfill sites, and a $15,675,000 bond for Waste Water Facilities.  The pamphlet calls the Waste Water Facilities the “crucial section of the bond” and includes elements of eight new projects, including improvements to three existing plants.

Cobb, Kurt. “Bond Size Guaranteeing Closing of TECO May Consider Inflation,” Corpus Christi Caller, December 18, 1980.  Accessed April 26, 2022.  America’s Historical Newspapers.

            A bond to help pay for the closing of TECO waste site if the company decided to close was discussed.  One of the elements of the bond that came up was how it could be adjusted for inflation.  This came about as the water agency opposed a proposed permit from TECO which would allow them different processes for the neutralization of acid and base wastes.

Cobb, Kurt. “New State Regulations to Change City Landfills,” Corpus Christi Caller, September 3, 1980. CC-Sewage vertical file. Local History Room, La Retama Library, Corpus Christi, Texas. 

New regulations about the requirements for landfills could impact two locally operated landfills.  The primary new requirement is a setback limit of 50 feet from nearby property lines.  One of the new rules that came about of this is that new landfills cannot be in wetlands.  The city worries that it might have to merge some of the county and city landfills. 

Cobb, Kurt. “TECO Agrees to More Wells: Closer Underground Water Check Due,” Corpus Christi Caller, December 17, 1980.  Accessed April 26, 2022.  America’s Historical Newspapers.

In the article Texas Ecologists Inc. agreed to additional monitoring of its hazardous waste disposal facility to make sure that leachates were not contaminating the local drinking water.  There were public hearings to further investigate amendments of TECO’s operating permit.  TECO acknowledged that it should monitor its second water layer but doesn’t agree that a 200-foot buffer zone is necessary.

Cobb, Kurt. “TECO Leachates Need Not Be Tested,” Corpus Christi Caller, December 19, 1980.  Accessed April 26, 2022.  America’s Historical Newspapers.

This short article reported on proposed new rules that would require TECO to test its closed trenches.  Concerns that PCBs may be found in the leachate created complications because TECO could lose its permit to bury waste if it contained any of these PCBs.  This is a result of an EPA change in 1978 which banned the burial of PCB at all federally approved sites.

Grote, Landon. “Letters: TECO defended,” Corpus Christi Caller, February 18, 1980.  Accessed April 26, 2022.  America’s Historical Newspapers.

            In this letter a local resident supports the TECO dump site.  The writer suggests that people have been misinformed about the site and are protesting unnecessarily.  The author of this letter goes on to say that people are failing to understand that they are polluting with their septic tanks and that we need “poisonous” and “toxic” chemicals to help kill bugs and fertilize our crops.  They end their letter of support by saying that TECO is doing the best job given their abilities and that we should support them.

Schwartz, Gregory. “Ixtoc is Grim Threat to Seafood Industry,” Corpus Christi Caller, February 11, 1980.  Accessed April 26, 2022.  America’s Historical Newspapers.

            An oil spill covering the 300-mile area between Galveston and Brownsville could negatively impact the shrimping industry in the area and have severe health risks.  An estimated 500 million gallons flooded into the Gulf.  A primary concern was that it could cause cancers in fish and kill shrimp eggs.  The article also notes that exposure to petroleum was also unhealthy for people, crops, and animals.

“TECO Opponents to Lobby,” Corpus Christi Times, January 14, 1980. Accessed April 26, 2022. America’s Historical Newspapers.

            This short article reports on the fact that a town meeting was going to be attended by representative Arnold Gonzales and Kenneth Ahlrich of the Citizens Against Chemical Dump Sites to discuss what to do about TECO.  Anyone wishing to take part in the TECO case was urged to attend the meeting. 

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