Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has secured a victory against White Lion Holdings, LLC in the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas over continued violations of a hazardous waste compliance plan put in place by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The ruling follows nearly a decade of litigation against the company, which had consistently refused to clean up contaminated groundwater at a facility the company acquired in 2004.
“Protecting our natural resources is a core responsibility of the state, and we will not tolerate bad actors who pollute our air and water with no regard for the law or the environment,” Attorney General Paxton said. “This company has continuously defied the state’s requirements and has fought compliance nearly every step of the way. We will continue to vigorously pursue violators who shirk responsibility and pollute groundwater in Texas.”
The action against White Lion began in 2006, when Texas initiated a lawsuit over waste-management compliance violations at a former pipe manufacturing facility the company acquired through a bankruptcy sale. An existing permit and compliance plan to clean up the contaminated groundwater was at that time transferred to White Lion.
For more than nine years, White Lion continued to violate the compliance plan and failed to abide by the state’s requirements. The company made no effort to manage the site until the state filed suit and failed to perform the duties set forth in the compliance plan, putting contamination of other water sources at risk.
A trial court ruled in favor of the state and ordered that White Lion pay civil penalties and unpaid hazardous waste fees totaling more than $450,000, plus interest, attorney’s fees and costs of court. The court also ordered White Lion to immediately comply with the state’s hazardous waste plan. The appeals court upheld the trial court’s ruling and denied all motions by White Lion.