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Drone Photos Lead to Indictment For Texas Polluters 177

Posted by timothy
from the river-of-pig-blood dept.
In January of this year, we posted news of a major pollution site in Texas that was the subject of some anonymous amateur sleuths with drones, who used their UAVs to document the release of a "river of blood" (pig blood, that is) into the Trinity River as it flows through Dallas. Now, garymortimer writes, that documentation has resulted in legal action in the form of an indictment from a Dallas grand jury. "The story went viral and continues to receive hits nearly a year later. I believe this is the first environmental crime to be prosecuted on the basis of UA evidence. Authorities had to act because of the attention the story was receiving."
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Drone Photos Lead to Indictment For Texas Polluters

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 28, 2012 @08:40PM (#42416147)

    Let's not forget they posted this cynical video on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-SGE5AHlns

    Then instructed all their employees to like and put positive comments.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 28, 2012 @08:44PM (#42416167)

    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2012/03/in-letter-and-video-joe-ondrus.html/

    "The City will use all legal means possible to ensure that Columbia Packing, or any company in the City, is not allowed to continue to discharge illicit waste and potentially harm the public and the environment.
    Columbia Packing officials, on video, focus on a hidden pipe on their property that they claim was clogged with brick and other material. What company officials do not address is another hidden pipe discovered that was installed to bypass the City’s monitoring device in the sanitary sewer line. The installation of that bypass allowed the discharge of pig blood and other unsanitary waste materials without City oversight. Columbia Packing has failed to document when and how this bypass was installed. The bypass pipe appeared to be of recent vintage.

    The search warrant and associated affidavit speak for themselves and clearly outline daily investigatory activities on the part of the City and other investigators from the day the situation was brought to the City’s attention."

  • Re:You are so naive (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday December 28, 2012 @10:08PM (#42416827)

    Way to Cherry Pick.

    Meanwhile:
    Madoff is in Jail for life
    2 Generals and two different cabinet officials have been forced to resign
    Seattle PD is under Justice Department microscope
    Book publishers forced to repay customers for price fixing
    BP pays huge fine and has Executives indicted
    Entire trading firms under indictment

    Its a mixed bag. It always is.

  • Re:You are so naive (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjames (1099) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @01:21AM (#42417857) Homepage

    See also this [nbcdfw.com]. It has a better description of how much blood and where it ran.

    And yes, that much blood IS toxic to the environment and can lead to fish die-offs in the same way that fertilizer runoff can. It can also create an awful stench as it decays on the banks.

    And it's 12 months after a citizen presented rock solid evidence of wrongdoing. It was years since the complaints started.

  • Re:You are so naive (Score:4, Informative)

    by sjames (1099) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @01:27AM (#42417889) Homepage

    That's a far cry from "what neighbors". And evidently, this wasn't the first time there were problems since the packing plant went so far as to bypass another pipe that was monitored by the county in order to keep dumping. Meanwhile, they are supposed to be regularly inspected anyway, so there was no need for probable cause to inspect the operation carefully.

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