Marble Falls assesses legal deadlines in rock crusher battle

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

A proposed rock crushing plant (highlighted in red) in the southwest corner of U.S. 281 and Texas 71. Courtesy map

A proposed rock-crushing plant (highlighted in red) in the southwest corner of U.S. 281 and Texas 71. Courtesy map

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.

connie@thepicayune.com

7 Responses to “Marble Falls assesses legal deadlines in rock crusher battle”

  1. steve says:

    The city only invested money to make sure water and sewage lines went to the hospital and part of that was paid for by the flatrock developers who have never built a single home. The city has yet to find a developer to get that one back on track. Also if lines have been ran to the gregg ranch development the cost was on the developers side. Another thing with this seeking legal action against asphalt inc or tceq is the cost. How much more tax payer money will be wasted if the city files suit and loses? are the council members gonna pay the fees out of their pockets? They need to listen to president trump and let things be built. Mmfga.

    • Brandon says:

      Long term the facility will be a net cost to the city, and they know they can make more money than this short term play. Thats why they’re mounting the litigation. You are right that a rock crushing plant which negatively impacts the land, water, and air around it is exactly the type of “job” Trump would encourage. Thankfully everyone isn’t asleep at the wheel and despite the republicans in control the overall tide is society still rolling towards protecting our air, water, and land. The city has a great opportunity to make an example of companies like asphalt inc and tceq.

  2. Jeannie says:

    I wonder if it’s legal for citizens to contribute funds to help with the City’s lawsuit? I was thrilled to learn of pending litigation against both entities – especially TCEQ!

    • Brandon says:

      Yea it’s just going to hurt air quality more than “create jobs”. Not to mention make a real estate dead zone everywhere around it, what person wants to be where the air is worse quality?

      • steve says:

        Brandon if it will create a real estate dead zone around it maybe you can explain why on hwy 71 going towards spicewood there are high dollar subdivisions right across the road front a quarry, concrete company. And there is another one in the works. Obviously there are people willing to buy near them and live near them.

  3. Steve says:

    Fantastic news. The permitting process is a relic that should have been updated to comply with modern standards. Additionally, Asphalt Inc. is not the kind of employer the city of marble falls should be attracting to grow a healthy, safe community.

  4. Brandon says:

    Where can I donate to the city?

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