Spicewood Crushed Stone LLC, the plant proposed by New York-based Dalrymple Construction Companies, would be located across from the existing Vulcan Materials Co. quarry and between two residential neighborhoods: Double Horn Creek and Spicewood Trails.
Dalrymple Construction Companies has so far not responded to numerous calls and emails from Community Impact Newspaper, but opposition to its arrival in Spicewood has been abundant.
“We are going to do everything we can to dissuade this company from moving in and destroying people’s lives,” Grant Dean, executive director of the Texas Environmental Protection Coalition, said. “We’re gathering everyone together to all have one voice —our rallies include TEPC members from New Braunfels, Burnet, Kerrville and other areas that have also been affected by quarries.”
Resident concerns include diminished air quality, noise, large trucks on local roads, vast amounts of water consumption, a lower water table and toxic dust.
Protesters gathered two weekends in September at the entrance to Doublehorn Estates, 103 Vista View Trail at the corner of West Hwy. 71.
“We’re asking everyone to send letters [to Dalrymple],” Dean said. “They come in and destroy health and property values; greed fuels every move they make for profits they know are there.”
Dean said he is asking homeowners adjacent to the proposed quarry to have their lungs X-rayed now.
“In five years we’ll get them X-rayed again and it will show the damage the particulate matter emissions have caused,” he said. “We’re also going to set up monitor wells to show water contamination.”
Dean and several other residents interviewed by Community Impact Newspaper at the Sept. 8 protest said incorporating Spicewood into a city might give the region more control over the businesses that move in. Spicewood Community Alliance formed a few years ago and works to provide a unified voice in the unincorporated rural area that passes through three counties, according to alliance President Matthew McCabe.
“We desire to show and make developers aware that the area called Spicewood, Texas is now tightly webbed, more connected and very aware,” he said.
The alliance held a public meeting Sept. 23 to help educate residents, subdivisions and businesses on the quarry.
“We have been meeting with the directly-impacted communities and subdivisions to discuss what we have learned from our involvement with Asphalt Inc. tar plant, the Marble Falls quarry and new developments with land purchases by Asphalt Inc. in the Central Texas Hill Country area,” McCabe said.
Glenn Leisey helped form the Spicewood Environmental Protection Alliance in late August and said the group’s ultimate goal is to change the law to make it more difficult for quarries to be built near established communities.
According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, stone crushers and all associated facilities and sources must be located no less than 300 feet from the nearest property line. All aggregate production operations must register with TCEQ, which can be done online and carries a maximum registration cost of $950.
Leisey said the business the quarries bring to the state is needed, but in a way that will not harm people. Dean agreed and said as a general contractor he uses quarry-produced products on a daily basis, but that the permitting process needs to be heavily regulated.
Resident Cathy Sereno said it is unbelievable that a quarry can be legally established between two neighborhoods and border backyards.
“We are working to gather a thousand signatures on a petition to send to [Gov.] Greg Abbott,” Sereno said. “If we don’t look at this overall process and [the fact] that there is very little regulation, it will keep happening. The Texas Hill Country will become the Texas hole country.”
TCEQ will host a public informational meeting with a Dalrymple representative Oct. 11, 7.p.m. at the Lakeside Pavilion, 307 Buena Vista Drive, Marble Falls.