Cedar Park - Leander | November 2020

Inside the INDUSTRY

PERMANENT ROCK AND CONCRETE CRUSHERS Williamson County: 17 OTHER ROCK CRUSHERS Williamson County: 10 SAND AND GRAVEL PROCESSING FACILITIES Williamson County: 0 WET SAND AND GRAVEL PRODUCTION FACILITIES Williamson County: 0

ASPHALT PLANTS Williamson County: 6 BULK MINERAL HANDLING SITES Williamson County: 20 BULK SAND HANDLING SITES Williamson County: 0 CONCRETE BATCH PLANTS Williamson County: 36

These are facilities that are required to apply for an air quality permit—and the number of each type that are located in Williamson County. Notably missing from this list are sites like quarries and mines.

SOURCE: TEXAS FOR RESPONSIBLE AGGREGATE MININGCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Booming BUSINESS

WILLIAMSON COUNTY 34

aggregate production operation

“It’s our responsibility to realize the signicant change in the number of these quarries since 2005, and we need to adjust accordingly,” Wilson said. Wilson said he intends to bring up several legislative measures on quarry regulations in the 87th Texas leg- islative session, which begins in January. One of the key initiatives he is in favor of is only awarding state contracts to companies in good standing. Wilson said the state can identify best practices for companies and use it when selecting for government contracts. This will incentivize both the developers and suppliers to be companies known to work well within their communities. “It’s just not about who can give us the cheapest bid, it’s about who can provide us a fair bid with a past per- formance of high quality,” Wilson said. “And the past performance is the key there.” Wilson also said he would like to strengthen regu- lations on where APOs can operate. Texas is a prop- erty-rights state, meaning APOs can mine in between neighborhoods and near hospitals with no rules stop- ping them otherwise, he said. This could not only have a negative impact on health but also quality of life, Wilson said. Other required regulations Wilson and TRAM are seeking are rock conveyor belt covers to keep dust down, reduced hours of operation to cut noise pollu- tion, and the installation of air quality control mea- sures, among others. Wilson, Ortiz and others recognize that it is not all APOs that operate as bad actors, in fact many do abide by self-imposed health and safety regulations, and that is something Jill Shackleford is working toward. Shackelford, a former Central Texas quarry owner and operator who now consults nationally, said she believes it is the responsibility of the quarry owners to not only communicate but over communicatewith the community around it by notifying them of blasting or changes and act as a good neighbor would.

Williamson County has the most aggregate production operations among Texas counties, with 34. Here is where other Central Texas counties stand.

BELL COUNTY 12

BURNET COUNTY 17

35

MILAM COUNTY 4

281

79

TRAVIS COUNTY 9

LEE COUNTY 0

130 TOLL

This is some- thing she empha- sizes to all of her clients, she said. “It’s an

290

important responsibility forquarryoper- ators to respect their community

35

71

and their neighbor,” Shackelford said. “If they’re near neighborhoods, or whatever environment they’re operat- ing in, they should respect those stakeholders, communicate appropriately and be transparent about everything they’re doing at their site.”

BASTROP COUNTY 6

N

SOURCE: TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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