From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
December 6, 2002
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124

Fraser Seeks Delay in Permit Decision on Burnet Rock Crusher

AUSTIN -- State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, has asked the Lower Colorado River Authority to delay its scheduled December 20 decision whether to grant a water quality permit to Capitol Aggregates, Ltd. for a proposed rock crushing plant near Burnet.

Fraser, in a December 5 letter to LCRA General Manager Joe Beal, said his request was based on numerous concerns expressed by Burnet County residents at a November 21 public meeting about the rock crusher's potential impact on water quality in the surrounding area.

"There are far too many concerns that need to be addressed before this permit is issued or denied," Fraser said in his letter to Beal. Capitol Aggregates is required to seek the permit under LCRA's Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Ordinance.

Many Burnet County residents have concerns about the proposed rock crusher's impact on water quality. They include landowners who rely on water from Hamilton Creek, which bi-sects the 540-acre site of the proposed mining operation, located about four miles south of Burnet along U.S. Highway 281.

"Several landowners on Hamilton Creek expressed concerns over their current water supply," Fraser wrote. "According to the owners, the quality coming out of Hamilton Creek is already deteriorating. Adding another mining operation could further pollute their already ailing water source."

In addition to Hamilton Creek, other residents have expressed concerns about the potential pollution of Honey Creek, Lake Travis, and contamination of the area's groundwater.

Fraser noted that the city of Bertram's sole source of water is from wells located about five miles from the proposed Capitol Aggregates mining operation.

Bertram Mayor John Goode and City Administrator Charles Shell first expressed their concerns about the rock crusher to Fraser in a letter last year.

"The aquifer, which supplies these wells, is largely undefined and the recharge zone is unclear," Bertram officials wrote. "Should a large open quarry operation excavate deep enough to encounter this aquifer, the result could have a significant adverse impact on the groundwater resources."

Fraser, in addition to asking the LCRA to delay its permitting decision, has also asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct a contested case hearing before making a decision on the issuance of an air quality permit required for the rock crushing operation.

Local governing bodies, including the Burnet County Commissioners, the Burnet City Council and the Marble Falls City Council also have requested a contested case hearing from the TCEQ on the proposed air permit. The TCEQ, at Fraser's request, also conducted a public meeting in Burnet to hear residents' concerns about air quality issues associated with the proposed rock crusher.