Quarry Issues

It affects all of us in the community.



  1. I am a Real Estate Agent in Austin and have clients interested in moving to Ranchland Oaks Subdivsion. I would like to know how the quarry will affect this subdivsion?

  2. TCEQ on Tuesday Jan 19 confirmed the 7:00 p.m. Feb 9, 2010 meeting at the Lake Hills Civic Center. Its on! Below is a letter from the TCEQ media spokesperson who confirmed the meeting.

    Here is a partial list of TCEQ folks attending the Feb 9 meeting,.

    Mike Gould – TCEQ air permits
    Alex Berksan – TCEQ air permits
    Amy Browning – TCEQ legal staff

    We will also have two or three members of our Office of Public Assistance attending.

    If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.


    Lisa Wheeler
    Media Relations
    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
    (512) 239-5003
    Office Hours: 6:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

  3. Alert Addendum: Zumwalt’s 30 day notice period for his TCEQ air permit began anew on Jan 14 because of a mis-posted notice sign. The new deadline for deadline for public comment is around Feb 13, or whenever the 30 days expire. I was told by Carol Uresti’s office the notice was republished on Jan 14 but I am not certain in what paper. I did not see the Zumwalt notice in the Hondo Anvil Herald so maybe it was in the SA-Express. But two pieces of good news–the new TCEQ 30 day notice period and the TCEQ Feb 9 public meeting–is better than sneezing at aggregated dust!

  4. An “informal pubic meeting” on the Zumwalt quarry has been tentatively scheduled for Feb 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lake Hills Civic Center, according to TCEQ media spokesperson Lisa Wheeler. The meeting was requested by State Representative Tracy King. I am supposed to call Ms. Wheeler at TCEQ in Austin Monday Jan 18 at 512-239 -5003 to see if the date and time have been confirmed.

  5. The date should say december of 2009 not 2008 for the letter template

  6. Here is a sample letter template to TCEQ if anyone wants to use it:
    Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 105
    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.

  7. My neighbor called Austin and spoke with Alex Bergsam regarding the permit/certificate. Mr Bergsam’s number is 512-239-1595. If you would like more information and would like to get our concerns noticed by as many agencies as possible, I suggest you give Mr Bergsam a call at the above number.

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