Continued Weakness from Commissioners Court

On March 22, Commissioners Court once again let down citizens of Comal County by failing to pass a meaningful, effective resolution in response to the 1500-acre Vulcan Construction Materials quarry proposed between Bulverde and New Braunfels.

Despite numerous requests from citizens to table the vote until constituent input could be incorporated and stronger language added to the resolution, commissioners voted 5-0 to pass the resolution as drafted. By passing this ineffective resolution, commissioners continue to side with an out-of-state corporation rather than the citizens they were elected to represent.

What’s Next?

In the wake of last week’s disappointing action from Commissioners Court, we will continue to reach out to the commissioners, urging them to stand up for their constituents by passing a new, more effective resolution which includes a Contested Case Hearing request; and to use the tools they do already have to protect Comal County citizens.

In the upcoming weeks (probably Summer 2018), TCEQ will issue an Response to Comments (RTC) and a decision on the Vulcan air quality permit application. This RTC will be mailed to everyone who submitted formal comments or spoke at the February 27 public meeting.

If the Vulcan permit is approved partially or entirely, TCEQ must afford the public the opportunity to respond to the permit approval by again filing online comments on the TCEQ website. Anyone responding must do so by claiming they are an affected party and providing sufficient details as to why they are an affected party. Respondents must also request a public hearing. Comments must be submitted within 30 days of newspaper publication of approval.

TCEQ will then 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 the Executive Director’s decision, or refer to the SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings) judge for a decision.

How You Can Help

  1. Continue contacting Judge Krause and all four Comal County commissioners urging them to work with their constituents to draft a strong, meaningful resolution. They should directly request a Contested Case Hearing like Kendall, Kerr, and Burnet counties have done in similar situations.
  2. Contact Representative Biedermann and Senator Campbell. Urge them to begin working with Comal County commissioners to craft legislation that will give the County more authority to protect citizens against incompatible and harmful land uses (e.g., new quarries, concrete, and asphalt plants in residential areas).
  3. Help us raise funds to fight the proposed quarry. We are an all-volunteer group of neighbors working together to protect our families and the beautiful Hill Country. But fighting a huge corporation like Vulcan requires legal and scientific expertise. Help fund legal representation for Comal County citizens with a tax-deductible contribution via our GoFundMe page. To meet our goal, we need 400 more donations of $200 each—but smaller amounts are welcome too! (And if you wish to lay low, donate anonymously.)
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