The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a $4,000 fine last week against a Robstown welding company that allegedly failed to obtain authorization to operate a site with air emissions.

According to information released by the TCEQ last week, Lauro Gonzalez, of Lauro's Welding and Sandblasting in Robstown, has paid $320 of the fine and will pay the remaining sum in monthly payments over the next two years.

Documentation from TCEQ shows a complaint was filed by individuals who live near the location, at the intersection of Highway 44 and Highway 77, after overspray and sandblasting dust blew onto their property in Dec. 2007.

A February 2008 investigation by TCEQ revealed the company does not have proper authority to operate a site with air emissions, and has continued to operate the site without authorization.

In addition to the fine, Gonzalez is required to submit records showing he is currently in compliance or submit a permit application with TCEQ within 30 days. Within 180 days, he is also required to submit an additional compliance report.