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Elected officials ask LCRA for public meeting on LBJ dredging

Save Lake LBJ

Members of Save Lake LBJ took a charter bus to a Lower Colorado River Authority meeting in Austin on Nov. 17, 2021, to protest an ordinance that would allow commercial sand dredging on the lake. The group is now actively protesting four permit applications from Collier Materials Inc. to dredge in two zones on the lake and establish two sand and gravel processing plants on the shoreline in Kingsland. File photo

Two elected Texas officials representing Burnet and Llano counties want a public meeting on four permit requests from Collier Materials Inc. to dredge Lake LBJ and process its sand and gravel on the Kingsland shoreline. 

State Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton), who represents both Burnet and Llano counties, and state Rep. Andrew S. Murr (R-Junction), who represents Llano County, each wrote separate letters to the Lower Colorado River Authority requesting a public meeting. 

“It is my full intent to ensure an open dialogue between landowners and LCRA,” Flores wrote in his letter, which was addressed to Tom Oney, executive vice president of External Affairs at the LCRA. “These permits impact private property owners and the longevity of the lake’s resources and therefore should not be taken lightly.”

Murr wrote to Blake Allison in LCRA’s Water Quality Protection division. 

“My office has recently been contacted by constituents in Llano County who have expressed both interest and concern regarding the above-referenced applications by Collier Materials Inc.,” he wrote. “I would respectfully request that the Lower Colorado River Authority host a public meeting to share information regarding these applications.”

The two applications to which Murr refers are for sand and gravel processing plants known as Kingsland I S&G plant and Kingsland II S&G plant. Collier also submitted requests for Kingsland I S&G and Kingsland II S&G dredging permits, each for a different zone of the lake. 

The dredging permit requests fall under the Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance, while the permits for processing plants fall under the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance. Both ordinances went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. 

All four applications are for Tier III commercial permits and have been declared by the LCRA as “administratively complete.” The next steps in the process are public comment and technical review. Only the dredging applications for Kingsland I S&G and Kingsland II S&G are still open for public comments, which can be submitted online here. 

The LCRA has asked for additional information on all four applications as it begins technical review, which is not complete until the application contains all of the necessary information and the river authority determines it meets ordinance standards. 

“If Collier provides all required information and the technical review is completed, LCRA will hold public meetings on the applications,” the authority answered via email to questions from “No public meetings have been scheduled at this time because the applications are still undergoing technical review.”

Everyone who submitted comments during the public comment periods will be notified of the public meeting. 

Both LCRA ordinances were approved by the Board of Directors in November 2021. In December 2021, the board gave its general manager authority to designate and modify zones for commercial operations on the Highland Lakes. General Manager Phil Wilson established three zones on Lake LBJ and one on Lake Buchanan. These are the only areas where commercial operations can take place. 

The dredging permit applications are for Zone D on the Llano River arm of Lake LBJ and Zone C at the confluence of the Llano and Colorado rivers on Lake LBJ. Zone C includes the removal of a sandbar formed during the 2018 flood.