Posted by: micotexas | January 7, 2010

Immediate actions to oppose the quarry

The following is a summary from the January 6 community meeting of the recommended short-term ACTIONS WE MUST TAKE to help stop the Zumwalt Rock Quarry:

There are two permits currently pending with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) – one relating to water, the other to air.

1.  Zumwalt has filed an Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan (EAPP) with the local TCEQ office located at 14250 Judson Road, San Antonio 78233.  The plan is well into the process but has not yet been approved so it is important we act immediately to show opposition.

What we can do about the water plan:

Best Option – Call Charlyne (“Charlie”) Fritz (210) 490-3096 at the Judson road TCEQ office and tell her you would like to come to her office and review the Zumwalt EAPP, plan # 13-0911601.  GO IN PERSON to the office and ask her to show you the plan and explain it to you.  Ask questions about the plan.  Express your concerns as to what impact the Zumwalt operation will have on our water quality.  Be polite.  Get these folks on our side.

Other Options – Contact the local TCEQ office by phone (210) 490-3096 regarding your concerns about their approval of the water plan.  Or, (better be quick) write the TCEQ office at the above address.

2. Zumwalt has filed an application for an air permit to operate a rock crusher at the site (hint – no rock crusher, no quarry).  The air permit for the  has not yet been approved and the TCEQ will take public comments on the permit until January 29.  Everyone who opposes approval of this permit should contact the TCEQ to voice your opposition.

What we can do about the air (rock crusher) permit:

Best Option – Write a letter to the TCEQ at the following address:

Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 105

TCEQ

PO Box 13087

Austin, TX 78711-3087

In your signed letter, be sure to reference permit number 91393, to give your full name and address, and give the TCEQ some idea of how far you are from the Zumwalt property (I share a property line with him, his property is approximately ¼ mile from me, etc.).  Express your opposition to this permit and concerns regarding the impact the rock crusher will have on your air quality (concerns about noise, appearance, etc. aren’t relevant to the approval of this permit).  Ask how Zumwalt’s Helotes operation can be rated “average” in air quality compliance when that was the site of the huge mulch fire two years ago.  Ask that the TCEQ hold a Public Meeting on this permit application.

The deadline for receipt of your letter by the TCEQ is Friday, January 29.  Please mail your letter by Monday January 25 to insure receipt by the 29th.

Other Options – Do the same as the “Best Option” above but send the info by email rather than by letter (we understand a physical letter carries more weight).  Go to http://www10.tceq.state.tx.us/epic/ecmnts/ , input permit number 91393 and make your comments.

Additional actions you can take to oppose both the water plan and air permit approvals is to contact your elected officials and let them know you oppose this quarry:

State Senator Carlos I. Uresti   Phone: (210) 932-2568 or   (512) 463-0119
State Representative Tracy O. King   Phone: (830) 773-0860 or (512) 463-0194
US Congressman Ciro Rodriguez  Phone:  (866) 915-3493

Also, please call the TCEQ’s Office of Public Assistance at (800) 687-4040 to inquire about what you can do to voice your opposition to the TCEQ approving the permit.  The more calls this office receives about our concerns the more attention it should bring to our cause.

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Responses

  1. Mamie, really 😀

    Sincerest regards
    Donovan

  2. Here’s a sample letter format to TCEQ:
    Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 105
    TCEQ
    PO Box 13087
    Austin, TX 78711-3087
    Subject: Permit 91393 submitted by Zumwalt to operate a rock crusher in Medina County
    Dear LaDonna Castanuela:
    I am a Texas resident, Medina County resident, land owner, registered voter and interested party regarding the subject permit submitted by Zumwalt for TCEQ approval. Please consider the following rationale prior to making a final decision regarding permit 91393:
    Zumwalt desires to operate a permanent rock crusher in Medina County that will negatively impact the air and water quality. Zumwalt has submitted water usage plans forecasting several million cubic acre-feet of water usage for their initial 30-acre site. This is highly likely to increase dramatically in the near-term when operations expand throughout the several hundred acre site Zumwalt recently purchased. This water usage will negatively impact not only the Edwards Aquifer, but will directly affect the several hundred bordering homes that pre-existed the Zumwalt site. Operation of the site will also pollute the air with airborne particles, fumes, and exhaust toxins from equipment and truck operations. This will undoubtedly affect people in poor health, with asthma, with allergies, and other respiratory conditions.
    A very significant consideration for TCEQ when evaluating permit 91393 is the affect of having 9 aggregate companies with rock crushing operations within a 5 mile proximity to the Zumwalt site. Where the Zumwalt site alone might not initially stand as a significant threat to Texas air and water, the compounding affect of 9 sites on the immediate, pre-existing community must compel forethought by TCEQ, not to mention the long-term consequences on the community as it continues to grow in the future.
    There is also concern as the Zumwalt site is located where FM1283 washed out during the 1998 floods and again in 2002. If another flood occurs, the storm water runoff will contain contaminants from the Zumwalt site.
    It should be noted by TCEQ that Zumwalt is attempting to manipulate the approval process. In 2008, Zumwalt bulldozed the site prior to submitting their intents to operate an aggregate business, thereby circumventing EPA and TCEQ requirements. Some in the community were told Zumwalt might build a golf facility with the property. Zumwalt submitted the permit 18 Dec 2008 and published their intents in the Hondo paper on 31 Dec 2008 – a strategy likely to reduce the opportunity for public comment by taking advantage of the holiday season and the attention of citizens being elsewhere. The signs posted at the site were also deceptively placed as to be unreadable at highway speeds and located in areas not readily visible. Zumwalt has also taken advantage of loopholes by using standard permit forms instead of forms more appropriate for the operations they have in mind. This is likely an attempt to avoid public meetings where proper due diligence can be conducted by your office and with the help of citizen input.
    Zumwalt has a recent history of not being trustworthy. Zumwalt is responsible for the environmental contamination occurred when their compost site located in Helotes mysteriously was set ablaze in 2007 and burned for months. The pollution necessitated evacuation of local residents and the plume from the fire affected people over 50 miles away. Local water well quality suffered as well. The local community in Helotes and Texas will contend with the affects of that environmental disaster for some time to come yet. Zumwalt is 100% responsible for what happened in Helotes. Hopefully Zumwalt has not attempted to hide their culpability and poor history by filing permit 91393 under some other business name affiliated with Zumwalt.
    The Zumwalt site will not benefit the community or Texas as a whole economically. As stated previously, 8 other aggregate companies are already operating rock crushers within 5 miles of the proposed site. If demand increases, the existing sites will be compelled to increase production to fill demand. Introducing a new rock crushing operation will potentially increase competition slightly and drive down prices, along with revenues which are the tax base for the State. There is no value-add proposed by the Zumwalt site.
    Local residents such as me do not support approval of the subject permit. We live in this community and enjoy the peaceful and serene Texas hill country that is our birthright and will be our legacy. We pre-date this Zumwalt initiative and we’ll be here after Zumwalt is either defeated in their deceptive efforts or has finished their profiteering by raping the Texas land. Zumwalt has shown they cannot be trusted. Do not approve this permit. At the very least, afford concerned citizens the opportunity for a public meeting and allow the time needed to bring all the facts into the full light of day.
    Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.
    Sincerely,
    [Your Name]

    cc: State Senator Carlos Uresti
    State Representative Tracy O. King
    US Congressman Ciro Rodriquez

  3. Great job Ken Leard. Great turn out last night.


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