Want to speak, but a little lost? Check out our guide to preparing your formal comments.
Tuesday, February 27 at 7:00pm
New Braunfels Civic Convention Center
375 S. Castell Ave.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Map & Directions
Whether you’re planning on attending your first or your one-hundredth TCEQ public meeting, it’s helpful to keep a few things in mind. You’ve done your research. You’ve practiced your comments and questions, focusing on how air contamination will personally affect you and your property. But it can still be difficult to get yourself charged up to speak for three minutes after sitting for hours listening to all the promises being made that a 1500-acre quarry is not going to cause any problems, how Vulcan is such a “good neighbor,” that the TCEQ will keep them in line and other Vulcan quarry myths.
Before the Meeting
- Stay informed, help cover legal expenses, and contact your public officials.
- Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early—parking and signups can take a while.
- Be sure to eat a hearty meal—these meetings can last four or five hours.
- Wear comfortable clothing and bring a sweater if you tend to get cold.
- Bring paper and pen—or take notes on your phone or tablet.
- Bring a large bottle of water and some favorite snacks.
- Make sure you don’t have anything planned for after the meeting—you will be mentally drained.
During the Meeting
- Make sure you sign up to speak during the Formal Comments period as soon as you arrive at the Convention Center Tuesday evening—even if you aren’t certain you want to speak. You will only be allowed to speak if you sign up at the beginning of the meeting.
- If you need to stretch your legs or “wake up,” stand up and walk around on the side.
- Keep yourself hydrated—if you get hungry, eat a snack.
- Don’t worry about writing everything down: the meeting will be recorded. Only jot down notes and ideas that are meaningful to you.
- DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME speaking or asking questions during the earlier Informal Discussion period. None of this is on the record and TCEQ will not respond to these questions in writing. If you have questions, build them into your three-minute presentation during the later Formal Comments period.
- Plan on staying to the end or at least until you are called to speak—don’t give up! Depending on how many people sign up for public comments, a meeting can last for four or five hours.
After the Meeting
- TCEQ will issue a Response to Comments (RTC) and a permit decision (usually in 60-120 days).
- This RTC will be mailed to everyone who submitted formal comments.
- If permit is approved partially or entirely, TCEQ must afford the public the opportunity to respond to the permit approval by requesting a contested case hearing as an affected person within 30 days.
- TCEQ will decide who is an affected party.
- Affected parties will be given opportunity for Contested Case Hearing (CCH)—similar to a civil trial.
- The TCEQ commissioners will consider requests and either uphold Executive Director’s decision, or refer to the SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings) judge for a decision.