Vulcan Planning New Texas Quarry
Vulcan Materials is planning to open a new quarry in Comal County, Texas. The quarry would be located on 1,500 acres midway between New Braunfels and Bulverde, with 600 acres of that land serving as a buffer between the plant and the subdivisions.
Still in the early stages of development, Vulcan has applied for an air quality permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) before construction can begin. The quarry would be Vulcan’s seventh in the area.
The Friends of the Dry Comal Creek held a public information meeting about possible effects of the planned quarry. This presentation was intended as preparation for a yet unscheduled TCEQ public input meeting to be held in the future.
A resolution to oppose the planned Comal County Vulcan Materials aggregate mining quarry failed at a recent Comal Independent School District’s (CISD) board of trustees meeting. The resolution failed with a three-to-three tie, according to the Herald-Zeitung.
California City Trying to Block Cemex Plans
Santa Clarita, Calif.’s planning commissioners are expected to take the next step toward officially putting property owned by Cemex within city limits. The city is looking to formally annex about four square miles of property, more than 2,600 acres, which includes the Cemex property, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. It is located on the eastern boundary of the city north of Soledad Canyon Road and west of Agua Dulce Canyon Road.
It is all part of Santa Clarita’s rumored strategy to prevent the company from opening an aggregates operation. However, Planning Commission Chair Tim Burkhart said the annexation itself is noncontroversial.
“Once an area is designated as open space, it limits the activities that can happen there,” Burkhart said. “The fact is that open space limits a lot of things that can go on.”
Canadian Operation Shut Down for Dust
The province of Calgary has temporarily shut down the Stoney Trail Aggregate Resource operation to address concerns of high dust levels. Transportation Minister Brian Mason confirmed the government is tightening up air quality monitoring and measures to reduce airborne particulate matter kicked up at the operation, which is adjacent to several jails, a University of Calgary satellite campus and other amenities. High winds and other atmospheric factors played a role in the high level of dust in the air, according to the Calgary Herald.
October readings found particulate levels surpassed provincial standards by seven times, following high levels recorded in the fall and summer as well as several the previous year. “It’s not acceptable,” said Mason. “Those provincial guidelines are there for a reason. I wanted to send a message that we won’t tolerate that situation.”
Proposed Michigan Quarry Faces Lawsuit
A Lapeer County, Mich., judge has denied a motion for summary disposition in the lawsuit between Metamora Township and those backing a proposed gravel and sand mining operation at part of the D-bar-A Boy Scout Ranch, according to The County Press.
The lawsuit/counter-lawsuit is between Metamora Township (along with the Metamora Land Preservation Alliance) and American Aggregates of Michigan Inc. (AAOM), Ajax Paving Industries Inc., Edward C. Levy Co., and the Great Lakes Council Inc. Boy Scouts of America
Ajax seeks to mine gravel from an adjacent site to the Boy Scouts property of which AAOM has applied to extract aggregate. AAOM intends to sign a 30-year lease with the Boy Scouts of America (owner of D-bar-A). On Nov. 16, 2015, AAOM submitted an application seeking land use approval to mine sand and gravel from D-bar-A, and included the assertion Michigan’s Public Act 113 of 2011 (PA 113) – aka the “Gravel Statute” – permitted such an application.
“State law preempts local regulation if the local regulation directly conflicts with a state statute, or if the state statute completely occupies the field that the local regulation attempts to regulate,” Judge Nick Holowka wrote in an 11-page opinion issued after a Nov. 6 hearing on the motion. “However, the legislature may not override a power expressly granted to a township by the state constitution.”