Published in December 26 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (subscription required)
As 2019 draws to a close, Preserve Our Hill Country Environment and Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry are so grateful to all our supporters and volunteers in the ongoing battle against the huge, 1500-acre quarry planned by Vulcan Construction Materials between New Braunfels and Bulverde.
Over the past two years, with your help, our team has achieved many key accomplishments.
Vulcan has not started construction or operation of the proposed quarry.
We organized Comal County citizens to request a public meeting (over 500 attendees) and submit comments (over 1,000).
We trained citizens to request a contested case hearing and receive affected party status. We worked with the City of Bulverde and Comal ISD to pass resolutions both opposing the quarry and requesting affected party status in the hearing.
Hundreds of individual contributions enabled us to hire legal representation and expert witnesses to defend citizens, file legal briefs, and make written and oral arguments and responses throughout the contested case hearing process. We worked together with hundreds of neighbors to successfully convince the administrative law judge to expand the radius for affected parties to five miles.
We reached nearly 40,000 people through stop3009vulcanquarry.com and rallied support from over 4,000 Facebook followers and email subscribers.
We increased awareness of the proposed quarry and related aggregate mining issues through media coverage in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, WOAI News 4 TV, Spectrum News TV, AM 550 KTSA, Texas Public Radio, Public Citizen, and many other outlets.
Our scientific analysis and grassroots efforts resulted in the installation and operation of two new TCEQ air quality monitors in our area, including the only particulate matter monitor in Comal County.
We are actively collaborating with numerous state legislators, school districts, and other grassroots organizations on legislation to implement some common-sense regulations for the over-aggressive aggregate industry.
We are optimistic about and look forward to working closely with the newly formed APO Interim Study Committee in the Texas House.
With a great deal of help from many of the partners mentioned above, we have made tremendous strides in bringing problems with quarries and the aggregate industry to the forefront in Texas.
This fight is not just a “not in my backyard” issue, but rather one that affects the entire Texas Hill Country as well as other areas of our great state. The rapid, poorly regulated growth of quarries, aggregate mines, and concrete, cement, and asphalt plants in Texas has created serious concerns for the health of citizens and protection of our natural resources.
Our urgent and primary goal is to stop the proposed Vulcan quarry that would stretch nearly three miles southwest from SH 46 and FM 3009.
But with aggregate companies owning over 25,000 acres in Comal County (over seven percent of the total county land area), we know this will not be the last proposed aggregate facility in Comal County.
As we continue the legal fight against Vulcan and TCEQ, we’ve come to realize that real change must be achieved at the legislative level.
Over the past couple of decades, Texas legislators, TCEQ, and industry lobbyists in Austin have slowly weakened and eliminated protections for citizens. We must turn this tide.
We are an all-volunteer group of neighbors. But fighting a huge out-of-state corporation like Vulcan and our permit-happy TCEQ requires expensive legal and scientific expertise. We are absolutely ready to continue this battle — but we can’t do it without YOUR help!
Please visit stop3009vulcanquarry.com to join hundreds of your neighbors who are already helping to protect our families and our beautiful Texas Hill Country.
David A. Drewa
Director of Communications
Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry
Preserve Our Hill Country Environment