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PASADENA -- The Harris County Attorney’s Office has won extraordinary legal relief in an environmental enforcement case: the appointment of a receiver to take over the assets of an international businessman Klaus Genssler and several of his companies that have illegally stored thousands of gallons of hazardous and flammable waste in leaking drums, barrels and containers along Vince Bayou in Pasadena.
According to a news release from the County Attorney’s Office, Harris County District Judge Kyle Carter appointed the receiver on July 2 after hearing testimony about illegal continuing discharges of wastewater into the bayou, citizen complaints about air nuisances caused by open vessels of wastewater and the lack of fire fighting capabilities at the facilities located at 200 and 400 North Richey Road.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office asked for the receiver when the situation at the two industrial wastewater and oil recycling facilities became dire and Genssler failed to remove hazardous and flammable waste from an unsafe warehouse. The facilities are next to several businesses and within 600 yards of a residential neighborhood.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office filed suit in May 2009 against Klaus Genssler, individually, and doing business as U.S. Oil Recovery, L.P., MCC Recycling, L.P., Genssler Environmental Holdings, L.L.C. and U.S Oil Recovery, LLP, also known as U.S. Oil Recovery, L.L.P., for numerous violations of environmental laws and regulations, including the illegal discharges of wastewater, causing air nuisances, and storing hazardous wastes in violation of their permits.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office has been granted four temporary restraining orders and two temporary injunctions in the case. After nine months Genssler finally stopped taking in waste but he refused to obey subpoenas, have his deposition taken or dispose of the dangerous waste stored at the site as ordered by the Judge.
The receiver will use the assets of the defendants to identify and classify the wastes and remove and dispose of the wastes at an approved facility. This massive clean up could cost more than $1.6 million.
PA personnel are taking emergency measures to prevent additional contamination caused by flooding at the site.
Neither Genssler or company officials could be reached for comment.