Comal ISD Says Yes to Quarry Hearing
Comal ISD trustees on Tuesday approved a resolution asking the district to file for a contested-case hearing — at the appropriate time — over a controversial air-quality permit for the proposed Vulcan Quarry.
By a vote of 7-0, trustees echoed constituents’ concerns about Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) proposed air-quality permit (number 147392L001) for the 1,500-acre rock-crushing plant at SH 46 and FM 3009. If the permit is approved, Comal residents have another 30 days to request a contested-case hearing (CCH) to provide further evidence they are ‘affected parties.’
The quarry’s location lies in a residential area of central Comal County between Bulverde, Spring Branch, Garden Ridge, and New Braunfels. The area is ringed with dozens of subdivisions.
“This is quite different in the fact that it’s being dropped in the middle, in the heart, of the community,” said board President Cody Mueller. “Requesting the contested-case hearing allows us the opportunity to ask the right questions regarding safety, security, and health impacts that could be a potential effect to our school district and our campuses.”
Comal board of trustees Secretary Jason York, who represents Canyon Lake in Single Member District 3, thanked members of the public for their comments.
“Your voice has been heard,” he said.
In December 2017, the school board failed to pass a resolution opposing the planned Vulcan quarry.
Mueller said trustees normally do not reconsider agenda items. However, two board members asked for the resolution to be added to the agenda but this time included a request for a contested-case hearing.
Mueller said Comal ISD will wait for TCEQ to issue a response-to-comments (RTC) before filing for a contested-case hearing. The RTC, expected sometime this summer, will include TCEQ’s executive director’s decision whether to formally approve the permit as-is or with alternative requirements.
Affected parties include residents, landowners, organizations, counties, cities, and school districts.
Quarry opponents say development of Vulcan Quarry would impact home values and potentially cost the school district millions of dollars in taxes.
Quarries are great for jobs, but if too close to residential areas it’s impossible to live near it. Congestion, accidents, noise pollution. In simple terms, the quality of life is diminished. I don’t understand the need to have this quarry so close to communities, and historical areas. It is clear they want the road access but if they are a successful company they can move it and build their own access roads.