- Rancho Viejo Cattle Co. has been granted a draft permit to build a proposed landfill, recycling facility, and processing facility at Yugo Ranch in Webb County, TX—a site that could be one of the largest in the state.
- The Pescadito Environmental Resource Center would accept 1 million to 2 million tons of municipal, community, commercial, and institutional waste a year. If the permit is approved, Rancho Viejo would take in the waste and recycling via truck and rail from about an 800-mile radius.
- The community has formally stated to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that they are concerned the site will generate traffic, odor, and dust; that it could pollute the air and groundwater; and that it could threaten wildlife. Regulators responded that state laws and the landfill permit would ensure these issues do not become problematic.
Carlos "C.Y." Benavides III, a principal of Rancho Viejo, has heard residents and landowners make clear for years that they do not welcome the solid waste operation near their properties. However, he stands by the plan.
"To be clear — there’s not a rooftop for three miles in any direction. This is the first time people can say it’s not really in anyone’s backyard," he said, as reported in the San Antonio Express-News. To the landfill’s defense, he said the groundwater flowing below the site is more than 1,000 feet deep and impermeable layers of rock present a barrier.
Appealing for the public’s trust, Benavides said he has been transparent with his intentions all along, posting application-related documentation online along with his direct contact information. However, the public may not be at ease when what they read in the response to public comment that the site will be able to accept thousands of tons a day of "putrescible wastes, ashes, dead animals, abandoned cars, special waste," among other disposables.
The prospect of a dump on a ranch has been debated before, only it was the ranch who was fighting against it rather than fighting for it.