STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls city officials took a closer look at their potential legal options and voted Dec. 18 to continue seeking possible court intervention in connection with a state-issued air quality permit for a mining company’s rock-crushing facility.
A special-called meeting that morning involved the Marble Falls City Council and the municipality’s legal counsel assessing “litigation against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Asphalt, Inc. concerning the issuance of the rock crushing permit,” according to the agenda.
The state entity approved a permit in November for Asphalt Inc., which has plans to install a rock-crushing plant and a quarry operation southwest of the Texas 71 and U.S. 281 intersection within the southern city limits.
Council members met in executive session, which is closed to the public, but then voted 6-0 in open session to continue with the legal process.
Filing deadlines and cost estimates are among considerations in pursuing legal remedies.
“The reason to go forward is to try and preserve the future economic development in the area around that intersection,” Mayor John Packer said. “We’ve invested millions of dollar to get infrastructure down there.”
Prior to the TCEQ’s air quality permit decision, the city of Marble Falls fast-tracked annexation of several hundred acres in the area in an attempt to stall future mining industry expansion.
Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge pointed to a city statement Dec. 6 to reiterate its position on the issue.
“The city of Marble Falls is disappointed in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) decision to issue Asphalt Inc.’s Standard Air Quality Permit,” the statement read.