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 (map below).
Before: White Ranch
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
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.
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.
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.
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, 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 (see map below) will be affected by the increase in truck traffic.