"Raid May Signal Turning Point For Waste Facility"

"The CES Environmental Services waste-processing facility squats conspicuously among the houses and strip malls along Griggs Road in southeast Houston.

For years, neighbors have complained about sickening odors wafting from the 6-acre plant. There have been explosions that shook the ground and sent debris into nearby yards.

And then in July, a worker died from head injuries and burns over most of his body suffered while cleaning a tanker that had been carrying ethanol.

When federal agents, led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's criminal division, swept through the facility last week, neighbors finally got what they wanted — a shutdown.

Whether the plant will be closed permanently remains unclear, but the involvement of federal prosecutors signals a significant turn in the case. Violations of environmental laws typically are handled in civil court.

The search warrant has been sealed, and none of the agencies involved would say much about the raid."

Matthew Tresaugue reports for the Houston Chronicle August 9, 2009.

Source: Houston Chronicle, 08/10/2009