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

Opponents to attend public hearing Tuesday night

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - One of the latest rock quarry proposals is awaiting final approval by the state’s environmental agency, and opponents say they will be at a public hearing in New Braunfels on Tuesday night to make sure their voices are heard.

Some said they were living near the proposed site long before Vulcan Materials wanted a rock quarry.

What was once a sprawling cattle ranch could become a limestone quarry covering nearly 2 1/2 square miles.

“I would like for the permit to be denied, flat out denied,” said Milann Guckian, who lives nearby.

A group of women is among those opposing the quarry. Residents said they have their reasons for putting up signs in opposition.

“Carcinogenic dust and increased traffic,” said Sabrina Houser-Amaya, who opposes the quarry.

The quarry would be located at a major intersection. Opponents say large trucks hauling 80,000 pounds of limestone would come and go along FM 3009.

Another concern is the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone beneath the site, which is San Antonio’s primary source of water.

Vulcan Materials has assured the community the quarry won’t be seen from the road.

“We highly doubt that, because they are mining over 900 acres over a lifespan of 80 years,” Houser-Amaya said. “We are aware that we will hear blasting. We will feel it in our homes.”

The opponents said there are some 6,000 properties within 5 miles of the proposed quarry, with about 12,000 residents. They said the quarry could impact their property values and the tranquility they love.

If Vulcan’s permit isn’t denied, Guckian said, “Short of that, I want it regulated – and be good neighbors like they say they’re going to be. They’re going to have to prove it.”

 picture of perp walk

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said as long as Vulcan abides by the permit when it’s granted, controls are in place to protect public health.

The full commission will make its decision at a future date.

On a website dedicated to the quarry, Vulcan said it will have more than 600 acres of buffer and setbacks and will use less water than a residential subdivision.

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