TCEQ approves Tobyville rock crusher permit, sets deadline to contest

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

TOBYVILLE — A mining company recently received permit approval to crush mined rock at one of its existing quarries in Burnet County, pending an April 2 “motion to overturn” deadline.

On March 9, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved an air quality permit for Collier Materials, 4600 block of FM 1980, which is required for the company to expand operations at the Tobyville quarry.

Mining company officials, seeking to erect a rock crusher, filed the permit application in the summer of 2017, which resulted in a public commenting and review period, a public meeting and an official response from TCEQ administrators.

Despite the most recent air quality permit approval for the rock crusher, Collier’s permit process remains mired in a contentious public debate by nearby landowners, area residents and industry supporters.

Both sides have disputed the potential harmful effects on water and air quality as well as the impact of increased dust, noise and gravel truck traffic.

As a result of the most recent permit approval, the public will now face one more deadline — April 2 — to file a “motion to overturn.”

In the permit approval letter addressed to public commenters, TCEQ officials outlined the steps opposition can take to request a judicial review.

“[A] person affected by the executive director’s approval must file a petition appealing the . . . approval in a Travis County district court within 30 days after effective date of approval (March 9),” according to the letter.

“If the commission takes up the MTO (motion to overturn), they will do so at one of their April agenda meetings,” according to a statement from TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow. “If they do not, the permit stands as issued.”

The TCEQ website outlines the process involved in public participation in the application process.

connie@thepicayune.com

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