About the future Pescadito Environmental Resource Center (PERC) site
The family of the Honorable Carlos Y. Benavides Jr. has owned the Yugo Ranch for many generations. The property is located approximately 20 miles east of Laredo midway between US 59 and SH 359. The site will encompass 953 acres of which 660 acres will be used as a landfill facility, and will accommodate a capacity of 223,316,800 cubic yards of materials.
What makes PERC an ideal location for the landfill?
The remote location makes it an ideal site for a landfill operation. PERC will be miles from residential developments; agricultural, commercial and recreational land; and usable groundwater. A natural barrier of heavily wooded area, brushy vegetation and rolling topography also provides adequate screening for the site’s location.
How was the site vetted?
In 2011, Rancho Viejo Waste Management, LLC (RVWM) filed the initial application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requesting a permit to construct and operate PERC. Approximately three years prior to filing the initial application, RVWM conducted extensive research of the site’s geologic conditions.
Research revealed the soil is comprised mostly of clays and claystones that have very low permeability which prevents the vertical migration of water. The proposal was also vetted by other state and federal agencies, state engineers, geologists and technical review staff to ensure all regulatory requirements were met. Ultimately, the in-depth research of the soil, geological, hydrogeological and hydrological conditions confirmed that the site was well-suited to accommodate PERC.
On March 16, 2016 TCEQ issued PERC’s draft permit. The proposed facility will be permitted to accept Municipal Solid Waste Type I materials, which includes ordinary municipal waste, construction debris, brush, and other non-hazardous materials. In addition, PERC will accept and process recyclable materials.
Who will benefit from PERC’s services?
As the population and development continues to expand in the Laredo and the South Texas region, we foresee that PERC will provide a much needed resource for the community. PERC anticipates employing 45 individuals with full-time job opportunities with an estimated annual payroll of up to $1.2 million, and the site anticipates generating an estimated annual gross revenue between $32 and $64 million.
How will this impact surrounding roads and highways?
TXDOT has reviewed and approved the proposed access and traffic patterns for the roadways surrounding the property. They concluded that the future use of the site will have no significant impact to the traffic operations on the state highway system. The site has direct access to the main line of the Kansas City Southern Railway Company, which will serve as an inexpensive method to transport bulk waste and recyclables.
How will PERC operate as a partner to aid in the preservation of regional wildlife?
PERC will be a fully integrated, state-of-the-art facility that will serve the waste management needs of the surrounding region. Our goal is to construct an environmental resource center that will be used as a national model. The land’s historic use includes wildlife management and cattle ranching. We hope to continue this tradition in the years to come, while also integrating partnerships with the local environmental community to aid with the preservation of regional wildlife and to offer educational and recreational opportunities for the community to enjoy. We have formed a relationship with the local birding community as RVWM hosted their annual Laredo Birding Festival for the past several years. The site also has the potential for an avian habitat enhancement.
What are the project’s next steps?
The public notice has been issued for the facility and TCEQ will consider a second round of comments before making a final permit decision. RVWM is eager to provide a solution to the growing waste management needs of the county and the entire South Texas community. We are committed to serving the county and surrounding South Texas region with first-class waste management services that provide community satisfaction while practicing environmental sustainability.