Oil

Houston-based oil company in hot water over leaking industrial waste

HOUSTON – Following a tip from a city code inspector, the Houston Police Department recently executed a search warrant at a Houston-based company called GXOil.

“There is probable cause to believe that hazardous wastes and/or industrial wastes and/or pollutants are being discharged into the environment and into or adjacent to a stormwater drainage system,” wrote Houston Police Department, Sgt. Patrick Morrissey.

Morissey painted a picture of a business with numerous suspected environmental violations in a search warrant application document obtained by KPRC2 Investigates.

GXOIL repackages bulk oils, lubricants, and other liquids for automotive applications. It appears that most of the company’s sales are wholesale transactions to local mechanics.

KPRC 2 Investigates found a number of the large containers and oil barrels in the company’s fenced yard appeared to be in disrepair. HPD found the same.

HPD believes the unpermitted activity is taking place at the location, according to the search warrant.

Typically, both the city and the state would issue permits for a business of this classification to operate legally.

GXOil holds no current permits of any variety. However, the business owner says they did have a permit from the state, only it expired.

Inside the facility, there are numerous puddles of fluids that appear to be GXOil’s product, perhaps mixed with rainwater.

The roof of the facility at 1335-D Boyle St. does not appear to be watertight.

Excerpt from Houston Police Dept. search warrant document. Warrant was served at GXOil in East Houston. (KPRC-TV)

Company Response

GXOil CEO, Antonio Gonzalez, initially appeared to decline to return our email message and phone call.

KPRC 2 Investigates did find Gonzalez one day recently in front of his Denver Harbor area business and asked him a series of questions.

“I’m trying to cooperate as much as I can. I’m trying to clean, as you’ve seen, the place, as much as we can, as fast as we can,” Gonzalez said.

“Do you expect to be criminally charged?” KPRC 2 reporter, Joel Eisenbaum, asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what they have or what they took but, what I mean, I know they took samples, but I don’t know,” Gonzalez said.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Response

“The information provided was for a criminal case in which TCEQ’s Environmental Crimes Unit was not involved. The TCEQ Houston Regional Office has not received any complaints regarding this facility, and the City of Houston has not requested TCEQ assistance on this case,” Victoria Cann, TCEQ Media Relations Specialist, wrote via email.

Reporting Illegal Dumping / Suspected Hazardous Waste

TCEQ: call us toll-free at (888) 777-3186 (24 hours), OR. contact your local regional office. Or email us at complaint@tceq.texas.gov.

City of Houston: Houstonians can call 311 directly or submit a report of illegal dumping to 311 online, and all illegal dumping reports are routed directly to the City’s Solid Waste Management Department for action.

Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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