FROM STAFF REPORTS
MARBLE FALLS — The Highland Lakes Clean Air Coalition has organized a rally Oct. 26 in advance of a public meeting being held by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in connection to a pending air quality permit for a proposed rock crusher plant.
The TCEQ-hosted public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Lakeside Pavilion, 307 Buena Vista Drive in Marble Falls.
The coalition is staging a rally at 5:30 p.m. that day at the same location in protest of a proposed air quality permit for Asphalt Inc.
Asphalt Inc. has plans to construct a rock crusher plant just south of the U.S. 281 and Texas 71 intersection near Flat Rock Road.
Coalition member Grant Dean said in a statement that his group opposes the new facility due to the expanding number of rock-based facilities in Burnet County and their environmental impact on the community.
“This is especially troubling since our community is almost completely surrounded by quarries producing potentially toxic materials like crystalline silica,” he stated. “We feel there is a deep need to change the way TCEQ addresses permits like those from Asphalt Inc.”
Supporters of the mining industry contend crystalline silica is not a threat due to monitored levels and point to state policy, which regulates the industry.
Opponents also criticized the amount of truck traffic that comes with the industry and the potential threat to residential development as well as noise and light pollution.
More than 1,000 people posted comments on TCEQ’s website. The public commenting deadline is Oct. 31.