Cameron County Clears Illegal Dumpsite

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NEAR HARLINGEN – Cameron County is keeping their word to clean up a property used for illegal dumping. CHANNEL 5 NEWS first brought you this story back in April. 

We showed you mounds of plastic, metal and tires that filled a lot on Dilworth Road near Harlingen.

On Monday, county crews went into the property to clean up.

The owner said these past couple months he tried to clear the land but needed more time, while the county said they had given him plenty.

"It's fine, it's fine. I'm not upset about the cleanup. What I ask is to give me more time to clean up some of the stuff and not come with machines taking materials that are good. That's all," said Juan Ortiz, the property owner.

Ortiz was present while crews cleaned out his lot. He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he's been trying to clean the property ever since the county contacted him earlier this year.

"For me, for it to be clean, I need another month. They (Cameron County) said they are no longer going to come, but I don't know," said Ortiz when we asked how much longer he needed.

Cameron County Environmental Health Directo, Gustavo Olivares, is overseeing the cleanup.

He said the county gave Ortiz an extension to clean the property, which ended last week. This is what prompted crews to enter the property on Monday.

Ortiz said this whole ordeal is costing him his land, "They are charging me $30,000. I don't know if they are going to charge me more but it's a lot of money. That's why I'm now selling my property to pay in order to pay them." 

Neighbors we reached out to said they are glad the county is finally listening.

"They are making it safe for our families, all up and down this road, around this property to be outside with our families and kids. It's definitely a long time coming," said James Gancedo

In the meantime, Ortiz said he will continue to clean up.

The county hasn't calculated just how much Ortiz will be fined. There were still tires on the property Monday. Ortiz was given until Tuesday to clear out the tires.


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