Controversial 1,500-acre open-pit quarry one step closer to reality

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator

COMAL COUNTY, Texas - The proposed 1,500-acre, open-pit limestone quarry pit project between Bulverde and New Braunfels is one step closer to becoming reality.

State Office of Administrative Hearings judges Rebecca Smith and Victor Simonds announced their decision Tuesday to approve an air permit application for the Comal Vulcan Materials Quarry, according to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.

The permit, which Vulcan applied for in June 2017, has been highly contested by area residents.

Residents in the area are concerned about:

Air pollution
Increased truck traffic
Decreased property values
Endangered water resources
Additional environmental impacts

"While this is certainly not the outcome we had hoped for in the contested case hearing, and we strongly disagree with their conclusion, the SOAH decision isn't entirely unexpected, and this fight is far from over," said Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry spokesperson David Drewa.

The anticipated quarry would be located at the major intersection of Highway 46 and FM 3009.

"We have presented a responsible plan for this site that shows we're committed to the county and doing things the right way," Vulcan representative Scott Burnham told the Herald-Zeitung.

Residents cite health reasons, increased traffic in opposition to proposed quarry in Comal County

The quarry is also required to submit a Water Pollution Abatement Plan to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality since the entire quarry would be located over an Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.

Recharge zones are considered environmentally sensitive since Edwards Aquifer is the primary drinking water source for nearly 2 million people.

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"Quarries use nitrates to blast apart limestone formations and store chemicals that often spill or leak into the groundwater supply," Drewa said.

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