MAY 16 UPDATE: Unfortunately this bill did not make it out of committee. Thank you for all your supportive emails, calls, and testimony!
The other important bill authored by Representative Kyle Biedermann is scheduled for a committee hearing on Wednesday, April 17. We strongly support HB 3798 for the following reasons:
Gives Railroad Commission authority to require mining permits, perform unannounced inspections, monitor and report on quarry mining activities
Gives Railroad Commission authority to require a reclamation permit: the quarry company must restore land to its natural state after they mine the limestone or other aggregate
Required groundwater and quarry mining permits must be obtained before TCEQ can issue air quality permit for rock crusher
Increases notification requirements for new proposed quarries and rock crushers
Establishes setback of one mile for rock crushers
Requires TCEQ to conduct a statewide air quality assessment and take specific actions based on the results
In a video recorded for our March 29 fundraising dinner and auction, Texas State Representative Kyle Biedermann (District 73) speaks about rock quarries and gravel mines, their negative impacts, TCEQ, and legislation that he has authored to resolve some of the related problems.
So grab a couple of neighbors and friends. Car pool if you can! Allow time for traffic and parking. Sometimes these hearings can last a few hours, so be prepared (snacks, water, book, etc.). If you have any questions about the process—or anything else—simply reply to this email.
Don’t worry if you haven’t memorized every detail of this bill. That’s fine! Tell your personal story, focus on the fact that TCEQ is broken, and how unbridled aggregate mining is hurting Texas, our health, and our environment.
Want to support these bills, but don’t feel comfortable speaking? No problem! Registering in favor of this legislation at the Capitol (using one of the witness kiosks) will be very effective too. So make the relatively quick drive to Austin and register your support for HB 3798. (You don’t even have to stick around for the hearing if you don’t want to.)
These failures require legislative solutions with common sense requirements to improve the public health and safety of Texas.
Contact Your Legislators
It is also important to contact your own state representative and state senator and ask them to personally communicate your support for HB 3798 to all members of the Environmental Regulation Committee.
If you live in Comal, Kendall, or Gillespie counties, Kyle Biedermann is your representative (thank him for authoring HB 3798!):