Fri, Jul 25, 2014 18:03
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Liberty County business owner sentenced in air pollution case
Liberty County business owner sentenced in air pollution case | TCEQ, hou_txbz, Liberty County, Ricardo Gonzales, R&K Fabricating, texas commission on environmental quality, environmental crime, criminal fine, Texas Parks and Wildlife Environmental Crimes Unit, sandblasting, spray painting, Travis County Attorney, deferred adjudication,

 Texas Business reports: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that its environmental crimes unit investigation of a Liberty County storage tank manufacturer culminated Monday in a guilty plea and criminal fines totaling $250,000.

Ricardo Gonzales, the president of R & K Fabricating Inc., pleaded guilty to two charges of intentionally and knowingly violating the Texas Clean Air Act. 

Gonzalez will serve a term of probation for one year, and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and cease operations until his facility is in compliance with TCEQ rules. 

In the second charge, Gonzales received an additional $50,000 fine.  R & K Fabricating Inc. also pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a $175,000 fine.

A TCEQ criminal investigator, with assistance from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Environmental Crimes Unit, discovered that Gonzales intentionally and knowingly violated the Texas Clean Air Act and TCEQ rules by operating his manufacturing facility without TCEQ permits required for sandblasting and spray painting operations.

The case was prosecuted by the Travis County Attorney’s office, in cooperation with the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force.

In 2005, Gonzales was charged and received deferred adjudication for a similar air pollution offense. In that case, Gonzales paid a $1,800 fine and performed community service.