Vulcan Materials has filed an application for a 2.4-square mile limestone quarry in a non-industrial area of Comal County—populated with over 12,000 residents. The 1500-acre site is located between Bulverde and New Braunfels, near SH 46 and FM 3009.


Before: White Ranch

The former White Ranch in Comal County, between Bulverde and New Braunfels near the intersection of FM 3009 and State Highway 46
Vulcan purchased the land using the name Blue Pine Holdings, LLC from rancher Eric White, who says he expected it to be developed for residential use.1

After: A Vulcan Quarry

An aerial view of the Vulcan Materials gravel quarry, very similar to the proposed Comal County Vulcan quarry
An aerial view of the Vulcan Materials quarry, located north of Loop 1604 in San Antonio. Sources: Google, Landsat/Copernicus

1500

acres

2.9

miles across

1467

football fields

How Large Is 2.4 Square Miles?

Proposed Comal County Vulcan quarry site shown to scale with other locations in New Braunfels, Bulverde, Garden Ridge, Spring Branch, Texas

24 ✕ 7 ✕ 365

The Vulcan Comal quarry permit application specifies that the plant will perform blasting, mining, and crushing operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year. Around-the-clock operation means that dust, noise, and running machinery will be continuous. At night, large lights are required, which will create a nuisance for surrounding residents and spoil the dark night skies characteristic of the Hill Country.

Seismic activity from quarry blasting will damage nearby wells, home foundations, swimming pools, and local infrastructure as well as the unique underground karst formations characteristic of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

Quarry operation during day, carcinogenic dust
Quarry operation at night, light pollution

Trucks & Hauling

The plant will be permitted with a crushing rate of 1.5 million tons of rock per year. Since the average gravel truck carries 20 tons per load, we can expect the following:

  • 75,000 truck loads annually
  • 6250 loads a month
  • 205 loads a day
  • 9 loads an hour
  • 410 truck trips per 24 hour

However, loading of trucks is only performed during daylight hours. Therefore, assuming twelve hours of truck traffic, a new truck trip will occur every 100 seconds in order to move the amount of material produced.

410

trips/day

75,000

loads/year

1.5 mil.

tons/year

Not a Good Neighbor

Vulcan has a poor track record when it comes to protecting natural resources and following regulations. During the past several years, over 80 formal complaints were filed against Vulcan—in Texas alone. And over 35 permit violations occurred at a single Vulcan plant (Loop 1604 in San Antonio). Vulcan can’t be trusted to respect the environment or follow the law.


Additional Operations

In addition to mining and rock crushing, quarry locations frequently add cement plants, concrete-forming operations, asphalt plants, and other industrial capabilities to their sites. Those operations add even more truck traffic, noise, and disruption to the surrounding area.

Vulcan Materials also tends to support railroad links to their facilities. Based on Vulcan’s history, threat of eminent domain and private property condemnation is not unrealistic. In 2017, a Vulcan subsidiary used eminent domain to condemn property that Medina County landholders refused to sell. Now they are building a nine-mile railway connecting the Vulcan quarry to the Union Pacific line near Highway 90.

Healthy children running through park
Girl with nebulizer suffering from breathing problems

Location

Vulcan Materials, an out-of-state corporation, plans to “helicopter” this quarry into an area of numerous residential developments, schools, parks, and natural attractions. Additionally, Comal County schools and neighborhoods even further from the quarry site will be affected by the increase in truck traffic.

Neighborhoods

  • Heritage Oaks
  • Vintage Oaks
  • Skyridge
  • Beck Ranch
  • Shearer Road and the Forks
  • Copper Ridge
  • Rim Rock Ranch
  • Ramble Ridge
  • More Neighborhoods

Schools

  • Smithson Valley High
  • Smithson Valley Middle
  • Garden Ridge Elementary
  • Johnson Ranch Elementary
  • Bill Brown Elementary
  • Bracken Christian
  • Startzville Elementary
  • Oak Run Middle
  • Veramendi Elementary

Parks & Attractions

  • Bracken Bat Cave
  • Natural Bridge Caverns
  • Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
  • St Jude’s Ranch for Children
  • Kleck Park

What to Expect

Sounds

Rock crushing machine in action at a gravel quarry

Sights

Aerial views of the Vulcan Materials and Columbus Quarry rock quarries in Columbus, Georgia.