Ruling by Third Court of Appeals permanently reinstates air quality permit for Vulcan quarry

myCanyonLake.com
July 13, 2023

Vulcan Quarry opponents lost an important legal battle this week. Texas Third District Court of Appeals denied a request for an “en banc” review of their case before a full court, allowing a 2022 decision by a three-panel judge to stand and reinstate an air-quality permit for the proposed limestone quarry at FM 3009 and SH-46. Friends of Dry Comal Creek, Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry, the Reeh Group and Comal ISD last year appealed the panel’s ruling, arguing it was authored by J. Woodfin Jones, an unelected, retired judge who was “sitting by assignment” when he ruled in favor of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Vulcan Materials….

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A Comal County ranch owner ponders selling his land, setting off another clash between property rights and environmental concerns

The Texas Tribune
July 13, 2023

Facing a two-lane highway about 13 miles west of New Braunfels, a 546-acre ranch hugging the west fork of Dry Comal Creek has caused a stir in the community. Behind a small gate, hills dotted with live oaks and a few freely roaming horses can be seen. But neighbors and environmentalists worry it won’t remain this way. Doug Harrison, a retired entrepreneur, and his wife have lived and raised their family on the ranch for the past two decades. But late last year, Harrison filed an application with the state to build a wastewater treatment plant on the property large enough to serve a 1,400-lot subdivision. The permit would allow 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day to be discharged into the west fork of Dry Comal Creek, which connects to the Comal and Guadalupe rivers — the most popular tubing destinations in the state….

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Up Comal Creek without a paddle: County residents lock horns with businessman over sewage plant

San Antonio Business Journal
June 27, 2023

Douglas Harrison, a New Braunfels businessman who is the former owner of the Scooter Store, filed paperwork for a wastewater treatment facility with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as he entitles a piece of property. Since Harrison isn’t developing the land himself, he told the Business Journal that having all water, power and sewer entitlements “will command a substantially higher price when we go to sell….”

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Comal County residents challenge proposed wastewater plant, 1,400-home development

San Antonio Express-News
June 9, 2023

Residents and environmental groups are urging state regulators to put a stop to plans for a Comal County facility that could eventually pump 600,000 gallons a day of treated wastewater into a creek that feeds the Comal River. Turning out to a three-hour public hearing hosted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Thursday night…

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TCEQ holds public hearing for proposed wastewater permit in Comal County

Community Impact New Braunfels
June 9, 2023

Comal County residents came together to speak out against a proposed permit application to discharge a maximum of 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater daily into the Dry Comal Creek, part of the Comal River and Guadalupe River watershed. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality held a public hearing June 8 at Smithson Valley High School regarding the proposed permit filed by a local landowner and JA Wastewater LLC. The wastewater treatment facility would serve the Harrison Tract subdivision, a new 1,403-lot subdivision in Comal County….

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Bulverde residents protest TCEQ permit to dump wastewater into Dry Comal Creek

KSAT 12 TV San Antonio
June 8, 2023

📹 On Thursday night, the state is getting feedback on a plan to dump hundreds of thousands of treated sewage water into a Comal County creek in east Bulverde. There’s concern that if the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality green lights it, sewage water could enter the Edwards Aquifer and the water we drink. Erin Bell Altman runs an equestrian center along Dry Comal Creek on the east side of Highway 281. “I was terrified that we would have an impact on the horses,” Bell Altman said. When she heard a local landowner had filed an application to the TCEQ to dump 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater daily through the creek, alarm bells went off for her business and her horses….

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TCEQ schedules public meeting Thursday for Harrison Tract wastewater treatment facility

myCanyonLake.com
June 6, 2023

A Comal County landowner who opposes a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) air-quality permit granting Vulcan Materials the right to turn a neighboring property into a 1,500-acre limestone quarry squares off against his former allies at a 7 p.m. Thursday public meeting about his proposed Harrison Tract Waste Water Treatment Facility. The TCEQ meeting over Doug Harrison’s controversial bid for a TCEQ wastewater permit for his property is at Smithson Valley High School cafeteria, 14001 Texas Highway 46, Spring Branch. Harrison said there is a 50-50 chance he will attend the meeting….

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Critics set to push back against Comal County project that calls for 1,400 homes, wastewater plant

San Antonio Express-News
June 6, 2023

Environmental groups are asking Texas regulators to say no to a proposed Comal County development that calls for 1,400 homes and a plant that could release 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater a day into a creek that feeds the Comal River. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday night regarding the permit application from Comal County landowner Douglas T. Harrison. The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch….

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Isaac files bills to place restrictions on aggregate companies, but Vulcan quarry opponent says they leave too much ‘wiggle room’ for big polluters

myCanyonLake.com
March 8, 2023

“Texas continues to experience growth by leaps and bounds, and that requires homes, roads, offices, schools and businesses to build and expand,” Isaac said in a statement. “We know it requires aggregate and concrete, and we expect that. I believe these businesses can co-exist with their neighbors and we can all be good stewards of the Hill Country while advancing the needs due to continued growth.” But David Drewa, spokesperson for a coalition of citizens’ groups fighting the proposed Vulcan Quarry, dismissed Isaac’s bills as only “very tiny steps in the right direction.” He said Isaac’s predecessor, former Rep. Kyle Biedermann and Rep. Terry Wilson, who represents District 20, in 2019 spearheaded much more comprehensive legislation for quarries and other aggregate production operations (APOs)….

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Isaac proposes bills that seek to reduce environmental impact of aggregate mining

New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
March 8, 2023

House Bill 3658 would require fenceline air quality monitoring at concrete plants and aggregate production sites. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issues permits for rock and concrete crushing facilities. House Bill 3624 would prompt the TCEQ to prioritize permit applicants who received similar permits in the past and reclaimed the land less than six months after the site closed. David Drewa, a volunteer with Preserve our Hill Country Environment, said the proposals are a “tiny step in the right direction. These particular bills are rather vague and appear to leave lots of wiggle room to big industry polluters, so we’re hoping to see something more comprehensive,” Drewa said. The group is fighting against the proposed Vulcan Quarry between New Braunfels and Bulverde….

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Permit asks to dump 600,000 gallons of sewage a day into creek feeding Comal River, Edwards Aquifer

San Antonio Express-News
March 2, 2023

Local environmental groups have raised concerns after a landowner filed a permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to dump 600,000 gallons of treated sewage a day into a creek that feeds into the Comal River. The application – which was filed in September – is asking to build a wastewater treatment facility near New Braunfels off State Highway 46. According to the permit, the facility would discharge treated sewage into the West Fork Dry Comal Creek, which moves through to the Dry Comal Creek and eventually lands in the Comal River, which is connected to the Edwards Aquifer….

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Isaac asks TCEQ for public meeting on proposed wastewater treatment plant in Comal County

myCanyonLake.com
February 28, 2023

Texas House District 73 Rep. Carrie Isaac on Monday asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a public meeting on a proposed wastewater treatment plant that would release up to 600,000 gallons of treated sewage per day into the West Fork of Dry Comal Creek, which flows for 30 miles until it enters the Comal River in New Braunfels. Her request followed an outcry by STOP 3009 Vulcan Quarry, Preserve Our Hill Country Environment Foundation, and the Greater Edwards Aquifier Alliance, which represents 54 member groups….

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