Plans for Sandy Creek rock crusher stir concerns about traffic and environment

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

A requested air quality permit would allow Collier Materials to crush material extracted from Sandy Creek just off Texas 71 in Llano County, officials said. The deadline to request a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality public meeting on the permit is July 17. TCEQ map

A requested air quality permit would allow Collier Materials to crush material extracted from Sandy Creek just off Texas 71 in Llano County, officials said. The deadline to request a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality public meeting on the permit is July 17. TCEQ map

SUNRISE BEACH VILLAGE — Llano County commissioners are trying to sort through the details and potential impact of a planned rock crushing and possible dredging operation on Sandy Creek near Sunrise Beach Village, officials said.

Collier Materials has applied for an air quality permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a mobile rock crusher.

“This is a new application, so it’s pretty limited,” said Llano County Pct. 1 Commissioner Peter Jones. “ The intent is to pull sand from Sandy Creek.”

The waterway is typically dry but does flow considerably during heavy rain and flooding.

On June 15, Llano County commissioners received notice from the state of the mining company’s intent to launch an operation on private property, just off Texas 71 and adjacent to the RR 2233 intersection in the Sunrise Beach Village area.

Upon inquiring with the property owner, Jones uncovered some preliminary details about the plans, which involve a “vertical sand crushing device.”

“Whatever is needed is finer than the (raw) sand,” Jones said. “It’s contained and washed.”

Jones is scheduled to make a presentation at the the Sunrise Beach City Council meeting at 2:30 p.m. June 21 at City Hall, 124 Sunrise Drive.

“What do we know? We don’t know much,” he said. “I should be a little more informed then.”

Kevin Collier, vice president of the mining company, said the company’s plans primarily involve “dredging” with potential benefits to the environment.

“The type of crusher that its going to be, there’s not going to be dust from it. It’s a ‘wet’ screening plant. ” Collier said. “The flood, when it comes in, it will create a pocket for the sand to settle into instead of going into Lake LBJ.”

Another Llano County commissioner has taken an interest in researching and informing the public on the permit application as well.

Llano County Pct. 3 Commissioner Michael Sandoval, who primarily represents the Kingsland area, has set aside a portion of his monthly town hall meeting for the topic.

The town hall meeting is 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 19 at the Kingsland Branch Library, 125 W. Polk St. in Kingsland.

“Sandy Creek dumps into the Llano River. They’ll be highly watched by TCEQ because of its closeness to the water,” Sandoval said. “There’s a vineyard and new homes (nearby).

“I’m sure they’re concerned about the air quality, people who are affected by air contaminant,” he added.

Both commissioners want to educate the public on the application process, including the upcoming July 17 deadline for public commenting and meeting requests.

“I’m going to introduce it for the people who are concerned about it,” Sandoval said.

Jones added he would also like to see questions answered about potential traffic and environmental issues.

“On the one hand, we have the benefits of clearing out the sand in the creek,” Jones said. “On the other side, you have issues of traffic, and I’d like to see (the air quality) questions confirmed.”

connie@thepicayune.com

5 Responses to “Plans for Sandy Creek rock crusher stir concerns about traffic and environment”

  1. Wyatt Larew says:

    They want to take 10 million in sand out annually of public lands for the personal profits of a few! What advantages to the community does letting 4 individuals loot and pillage our natural resources for their own personal gain do for the people of Llano county? Why are they allowed to mine public land for personal profits that exceed 10 million a year? Why doesnt the city take the sand out and pay off the bonds they pushed through and lower taxes? Why do all of us have to sacrifice or water quality, hunting rights, and time so 2 guys and a concrete company can get rich selling us back our own sand at 500 dollars a dumptruck? Explain how this benefits anyone except the people getting kickbacks and the ranchers who will get a free ranch plus 50 million?

    • Steve says:

      What public lands are you referring to? This article states it is on private land. As far as selling a resource back to the public. Water is captured and sold back to the public everyday.

      • Wyatt Larew says:

        All creeks, streams, rivers and waterways are public land.

        • Steve says:

          Don’t they have to be navigable and if so can any individual travel Sandy creek? Can anyone step out of the creek onto private land when using this public land if it goes through say the middle a ranch?

  2. John says:

    Could someone provide information on Collier operation on Sandy Creek Plant and what amount of Investment will be made, Employment created, Tax to be paid by Collier and others.
    Please explain how the Sand is state property / or how it is personal property to be sold.
    What are the Regulations by Government (Federal, State, Local )
    Lets get some real facts out. Will Collier do something for Llano County?

    I would like to thank Mike Sandoval for the meetings he has held for the Community.

    John

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