Vulcan wins lawsuit – BBCCE considers appeal

Connie McFall Clark | Contributing Writer

The Boerne To Bergheim Coalition For a Clean Environment (BBCCE) filed a lawsuit against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) early last year to dispute permits given Vulcan Materials Company to build a batch concrete plant on State Highway 46 east of Bergheim and on the property next to the Hill Country Montessori School. In legislative sessions in Austin last year, activists Amber Dean Clowney, Toni D-Angelo Lott and others represented BBCCE with Ms. Lott addressing the aggregate industry related committee with the concerns about TCEQ and Vulcan and the rapid growth in the Hill Country.

In Facebook posts this week, Amber Dean Clowney announced, “I’m sad to announce that our attorneys have emailed us that the judge made a ruling in our case in favor of Vulcan. We’re working on a time and location for a large group meeting to be held after January 1 to discuss and vote on whether or not we want to file an appeal. If we decide we want to file an appeal we have 30 days from the date of the ruling (12/13) to file it. Thank you all for your support! The larger fight for some sensible regulations for this industry is far from over!”

Toni D-Angelo Lott responded to my inquiry with, “Despite the fact that Kendall County and Boerne Independent School District (BISD) are unanimously opposed to this location, that TxDOT is concerned about the safety of big industrial trucks going in and out on a blind hill, the mandatory Dark Sky requirements, Cow Creek’s opposition due to the critical water resources in this spot,  State Representatives’ opposition, the real threat to the Hill Country Montessori School that is situated 1,750 feet away, and unprecedented opposition by the community, Vulcan Materials still insists upon forcing its way in. We hope and pray that despite the lack of protective laws that Vulcan will reconsider and find a location that will not impact people’s lives in such a dramatic way.”

In an earlier comment, BBCCE Board President Woody Stephenson stated, “We are deeply concerned about the health impacts from this facility, particularly to our children at our school and the elderly who live nearby. We are deeply concerned about the very small particles of dust and silica that the facility proposes to emit right next to a school that caters to children from infants to middle school. Children are particularly sensitive to air pollution more so than adults. This type of permit they have applied for does not really review these types of adverse health impacts in this circumstance with school children nearby.”

Perhaps these issues will entice Vulcan to move to a better location. They were planning to be up and running in six months but it has been delayed for over two years. TxDOT hasn’t granted a driveway permit yet and Kendall County has advised Vulcan that they will not get the requested Dark Sky variance. More information to come in the January meeting to be announced.

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