90% of vehicle owners and operators are mad in the first place their vehicle was towed without their consent, either from a parking lot or involved in a traffic accident that required the vehicle be towed to a license vehicle storage facility. Little known to vehicle owners, operators or lien holders after payment is made to gain the release of your vehicle, is the obvious signs of motor oils, transmission fluids, gas or diesel fuels and antifreeze that has drained out of vehicle on to the surface of the parking lot.
When you spot these areas within the storage facility were fluids have contaminated the surface of the storage facility, use you cellphones to take multiple photos of these spills, as you will need them when filing a complaint with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Some vehicle storage facility are directly on top of aquifers, a major source of drinking water, such as Reliant Towing, K&S Towing, Lamont & Sons Towing, G&G Impounding, A-Tex Towing, Pete’s Wrecker Service, 4 Way Auto Shop and JV’s Wrecker Service. All of the businesses’ storage facilities are on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge and Drainage Zones which is under the control of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s jurisdiction.
At yesterday’s TDLR Towing, Storage & Booting Advisory Board Meeting, TDLR Staff and Advisory Board Members went back and forth about what could be charged reference an Environmental Fee collected from a vehicle owner or insurance company when a spill requires to be cleaned up, no fee was determined.
But what was surprising about the issue, was the comments by TDLR Attorney Charles Johnson and Compliance Specialist Todd Forrester whom stated complaints reference spills within vehicle storage facilities and tow company business location are not enforced by TDLR, but are by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Several tow companies do mechanic work such as changing their fluids in their tow trucks, replace broken hydraulic lines that result in fluid leaks and in most case dispose of their used fluids in 55 gallon drums outside their shops creating a huge spill mess that should without a doubt be reported, for two issues, the spill and not having a Stormwater Permit issued by TCEQ to prevent hazardous liquids from entering a drainage ditch or storm drains, as nobody want to drink a glass of oily water.
Therefore, whenever someone arrives at either of these types of businesses, tow company or vehicle storage facility and observe a spill, document it with your cellphone camera/video and submit an online complaint against them.
If these companies whom routinely take advantage of the public are not worried about the action of TDLR, the TCEQ investigation and fine will stagger the mind and hit them the pocketbook in a big kind of way.
The following phone numbers are another avenue for filing complaints reference pollution issues:
Environmental Complaints Hot Line:
Texas residents can use this line to report environmental complaints. Calls will be routed automatically to the closest TCEQ regional office. Callers after business hours may leave a recorded message.
Spill Reporting (24-Hour):
Used to report spills, unpermitted discharges or releases to the environment, and SARA/EPCRA report notices. Supported by several Texas agencies, this line is answered 24 hours a day and serves as the TCEQ spill reporting line during the day and the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) line at night.
Inside the city limits of Austin (24-Hour) 512-974-2550
It’s best to file complaints with both TCEQ and the City of Austin Spill Hotline (inside city limits) as without a doubt the damage done to their bank accounts will be staggering….