BAYTOWN, Texas — Prosecutors say a grand jury has indicted a Houston-area chemical company and its owner after some 50,000 gallons of dangerous industrial waste was dumped into public waterways.
The Harris County district attorney’s office said in a statement Friday that 58-year-old Henry Wuertz, the owner of Crestchem LLC in Baytown, ordered company employees in 2015 to dump the waste into nearby Cedar Bayou.
Authorities say benzene was among the toxins discharged into the water. Prosecutors say the company breaks down diesel fuel into other products for resale. They allege that the distillation process failed to yield an acceptable product so the batch was dumped.
Wuertz is charged with water pollution.
His attorney, Jimmy Ardoin, says Wuertz was a contract employee for the company, not the owner, and disputes that any crime was committed.