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Collier withdraws Lake LBJ dredging applications with plans to resubmit

Sandbar at Lake LBJ near Kingsland

Collier Materials has withdrawn all four applications to dredge Lake LBJ and process sand and gravel in two locations on its banks near Kingsland. One dredging operation proposed to remove this sandbar, which formed during the October 2018 flood, from the lake. The Lower Colorado River Authority accepted the request for withdrawal on Oct. 23. Photo by Stennis Shotts

Collier Materials withdrew all four of its applications to establish two sand and gravel dredging operations and two processing plants on Lake LBJ, although it told the Lower Colorado River Authority it plans to re-apply soon. The LCRA, which has the authority over the Highland Lakes chain, posted its acceptance of the withdrawals on its website on Monday, Oct. 23. 

The LCRA also sent an email notice to everyone who commented during the public comment period on the applications. 

In requesting the withdrawal, Curt Campbell of Westward Environmental Inc., the engineering firm handling the process for Collier, said the applications were withdrawn because Westward could not provide by deadline some of the additional information requested by the LCRA. 

A withdrawal acceptance letter from LCRA Vice President of Water Resources Monica Masters explained that a refile would mean a complete do-over. 

“Please understand that once an application is withdrawn, any application resubmittal will initiate a new application review process that includes a pre-application planning meeting, submittal of all application fees, and applicable public notices,” reads the Oct. 23 letter from Masters to Campbell.

The two Dredge and Fill Permit Ordinance applications were for Kingsland I Sand and Gravel on the Llano River arm of Lake LBJ and Kingsland II Sand and Gravel at the confluence of the Llano and Colorado rivers. The dredging operation would remove a popular sandbar that was created at the confluence by the October 2018 flood. 

Two additional applications were to establish sand and gravel processing plants under the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance. 

Time was running out in the application process, which grants a maximum of 183 extension days from the day the applications for permits were filed before they are deemed expired by the LCRA. The latest extension granted by the LCRA was to Oct. 20. As of that date, the fewest days left on one extension were 39; the longest 49. 

“God is great” was the response from Fermin Ortiz, a leader of the opposition to the proposed dredging operations and processing plants. “It makes the last three years of fighting worth it.”

Save Lake LBJ and the Lake Buchanan Communities Alliance, two groups against the proposed mining operations, plan to continue monitoring the situation. 

A Save Lake LBJ town hall at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Sunrise Beach Village Civic Center, 124 Sunrise Drive, will go forward as announced. Now is not the time to claim victory and relax, said Barbara Schmidt, another leader in the opposition and a Save Lake LBJ member.

“The presentation we are planning to give will include this new information,” Schmidt said. “We will certainly emphasize that (Collier) says he will resubmit. We are going to stay vigilant and watch for any new submissions.” 

Ortiz will be giving the town hall presentation. 

“The battle is not over,” he said. “We still have a lot of things we have to protect out here at LBJ. We still have a severe drought and illegal dams that are preventing the inflows that all our communities need.”

3 thoughts on “Collier withdraws Lake LBJ dredging applications with plans to resubmit

  1. Please please please refile soon and help us get some of the sand out of our lake! Anyone with lake front property or a boat should be supporting this endeavor wholeheartedly!

    1. Yes refile! My yard on the Llano now has a football field worth of sand before you get to the shallow water. Over the past 62 years it went from 12 feet deep to the Llano beach, no reduction in taxes though! Dredge soon.

    2. We have a lake property and a boat. And , no, we do not support this endeavor. Would you mind to explain your point, please. What are the potential benefits and potential downsides of this project, in your view?
      Thank you

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