TPWD says Collier Materials most likely needs permit from it to dredge
An aggregate mining company applying to dredge Lake LBJ would most likely require a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department permit despite the company’s claim otherwise. Collier Materials Inc. has three permits before the Lower Colorado River Authority to set up a mining operation along the shoreline on the Kingsland side of the lake near the RM 2900 bridge.
Two of the applications were deemed “administratively complete” by the LCRA and are in the public comments phase. They include statements that “the state will not be deprived of significant revenue and there will be no significant adverse effects on navigation, the coastal sediment budget, riverine hydrology, erosion or fish and wildlife resources,” which would translate into an exemption under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Sand and Marl Permit code 31 TAC 69.120.
According to a statement from the TPWD to DailyTrib.com, that is not necessarily true.
“Based upon current public information on the project, it is unclear to TPWD how a commercial dredge project would meet the requirements for an exemption in Parks and Wildlife Code (PWC) chapter 86,” a spokesperson said in an email response to questions from DailyTrib.com.
The spokesman clarified, however, that because Collier Materials has not presented information about its proposal to the department, the TPWD “does not have complete information upon which to evaluate the project.”
Since the announcement that the applications are now in the public comments phase, Save Lake LBJ, a group formed to fight a similar proposal in 2020, has been gathering information and organizing to stop the project. That includes a public information request to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a letter written to it in March 2022 from Thomas Heger, Aquatic Resource Permitting and Consultations team leader for the TPWD.
That letter was shared with DailyTrib.com.
“A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sand and gravel permit will be required for dredging or disturbance of sedimentary material within the vertical confines of the Llano River channel portion of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson,” the letter reads. “The project sponsor should coordinate with the TPWD Aquatic Resources Permitting and Consultation Program … regarding the application for a sand and gravel permit.”
The letter lists possible impacts on the lake from the construction of a combined boat ramp and maintenance dock in Moss Creek and outfall structures with concrete block sleeve anchors in both Moss Creek and Lake LBJ.
The operation also could be harmful to two mussel species found in the lake, the southern mapleleaf and the giant floater, according to the TPWD. Because the project site is adjacent to the Llano River branch of Lake LBJ, it could also adversely affect the spring spawning cycle of a variety of sportfish, including largemouth bass, Guadalupe bass, sunfish, catfish, and white bass.
“Suspended sediments and increased turbidity could adversely affect recreational sport fish habitat,” the letter reads.
The TPWD also said additional data were needed on the types and intensity of recreation in the lake to better assess the impact on paddlers, boaters, and anglers by the equipment used in dredging.
“The Llano River branch of Lake LBJ is very popular with recreational boaters and TPWD has concern for significant impacts to boater safety and navigation in the areas within and around the project site,” the letter continues. “TPWD concludes that the proposed project should not be authorized until these issues are fully addressed.”
All of this information should deem the application incomplete, according to opponents.
“It’s interesting to me individually that Westward Engineering is determining who they have to have a permit from, instead of the state agencies determining who they need a permit from,” said Fermin Ortiz, an advocate with Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining. “The first question that needs to be answered is how did they decide that the TPWD did not need to be engaged. It wasn’t the TPWD.”
2 thoughts on “TPWD says Collier Materials most likely needs permit from it to dredge”
Agreed! They are terrible neighbors and don’t care about anything except for their bottom line! I firmly oppose this!
Collier Materials has a long and established history of ignoring concerns from neighbors throughout the area. They rape the land of resources and natural beauty and move on to their next profitable venture. We need to strongly consider this and other similar cases as we look to enjoy the Hill Country region for generations to come. We can and should encourage businesses to succeed, but we must also strongly consider the cost of irreparable damage to the area in which we all live and enjoy.
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