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Quarry Opponents Sue TCEQ Over Air Permit

Quarry opponents are suing Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its November 2019 decision to grant Vulcan Materials the air-quality permit it needs to develop a 1,500-acre limestone rock quarry and rock-crushing operation in central Comal County. Image courtesy of Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry.

Vulcan Quarry opponents on Monday announced they are suing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in another effort to stop development of a project they say would pollute Comal County’s air with carcinogenic dust, result in dangerous truck traffic, and tank property values of homes within a five-mile radius of the quarry.

Their petition asks the court to reverse TCEQ’s unanimous November 2019 decision to grant Vulcan Materials the air-quality permit it needs to turn the old Eric White Ranch into a 1,500-acre limestone rock quarry and crushing plant in central Comal County.

Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry and Friends of Dry Comal Creek say the decision should be sent back for  “lawful evaluation,” according to a press release they issued earlier this week.

The environmental groups allege that during a June 2019 contested-case or administrative hearing about the quarry these “failures and prejudices” occurred:

  • Legal errors during discovery and trial;
  • Capricious and arbitrary exclusion of relevant data from air-pollution monitoring;
  • Failure to account for diesel exhaust emissions;
  • Allowing TCEQ staff guidance to supersede statutory state law;
  • Failing to require case-by-case determination of emission reductions.

Speaking in November, Vulcan spokesperson Scott Burnham said Vulcan is committed to Comal County, and doing things the right way.

“We look forward to working with our neighbors and the community,” he said.

Vulcan’s attorney, Keith Courtney, said applications for rock-crushing plants are common and that TCEQ has issued hundreds.

Vulcan Materials Company is the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates—primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel—and a major producer of aggregates-based construction materials, including asphalt and ready-mixed concrete, according to the company’s website.





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