Not far enough
Senator Donna Campbell is touting her latest piece of proposed legislation, supposedly aimed at tightening restrictions on aggregate production operations (e.g. quarries, cement batch plants, etc.) Careful reading suggests SB 694 is nothing more than an attempt to not alienate the aggregate industry.
SB 694 states that inspections of quarries by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to monitor air and water quality may be conducted every two years and allows for unannounced inspections of operators previously cited for noncompliance.
Sounds good, right? Here’s the problem: aggregate companies self-report compliance violations! And, the unannounced inspections would be made only if TCEQ cited the operator for a violation in the previous two years. And, the unannounced visit can be conducted only up to one year after the violation. And, operators are not required to install air monitoring technology on site.
In the press release accompanying the announcement of SB 694, Dr. Campbell noted that “SB 694 ensures that our air and water will be protected for future generations.” Really? How is perpetuating giant loopholes for an industry that pollutes for profit going to accomplish that? In a Jan. 31 article by the Texas Tribune titled “Report: Unauthorized air pollution in Texas up 27 percent in 2017,” an analysis found that Texas industrial facilities frequently exceed the emissions limits set in their TCEQ-issued air permits.
What we need, Senator Campbell, is legislation that 1) mandates real-time data on emissions, not air model predictions, including active air monitoring stations near existing and proposed sites with data made available to the public 2) establish water well monitoring for water flow rate, well static level and for biological and chemical contamination and 3) metering and public, third-party monitoring of all groundwater usage.
Then, maybe, we can all breathe a little easier.
– Susan Randolph, Canyon Lake
Blanco Rd. dangers
I wrote the following to TxDOT earlier this month
I am writing this letter to express my concern about a dangerous road situation that exists in Boerne on Blanco Rd./ State Hwy, 474 from N. Plant Ave. to Main St. On the north side of this road, the sidewalk is so close to the traffic that I believe there will be a serious pedestrian accident there some day. Presently it is a four-lane road, and the speed limit is 35, although the traffic seems to always move at 45-50. The sidewalk is narrow and right against the traffic lane, and vehicles pass very close to pedestrians, as close as a few feet. It is an especially intolerable and dangerous place for children to walk, with or without adults alongside.
I am no highway engineer, but I suggest considering the following with a goal of public pedestrian safety in mind.
• Make the highway one lane going into downtown Boerne, possibly allowing parking on that side where there are businesses anyway.
• Close the sidewalk on the north side of Blanco Rd. from N. Plant to Main and install a crosswalk at N. Plant with a light for pedestrians. And install some other crosswalks along the way to the intersection of Main. The sidewalk on the south side of Hwy. 474 is much safer to walk on than the other side, but right now it is difficult, dangerous and nearly impossible to cross Blanco Rd.
• Install concrete barriers along the north side of Blanco Rd. and against the existing sidewalk to hopefully prevent distracted drivers and their vehicles from swerving onto the sidewalk and hitting pedestrians.
I really think if you take the time to review what I am complaining about you will proceed to make changes in order to prevent a future tragedy. I was recently in Boerne and walked down that sidewalk with my grandchild, and it was very, very scary.
– Holly Burgess,
Tres Piedras, New Mexico
Same song, different verse
What a shocker that the wording for building a new band hall for BMSN has been changed to remodeling. This is nothing new unfortunately. Boerne leaders are as crooked as the come and there are many who are in cahoots with them.
Remember back in 2003 when BMSN had funding to build a new boy’s locker room and then it got moved to fixing the seating for the football stadium? It took years before the boy’s locker room at BMSN was ever fixed while many other projects got funded.
There are some completely dishonest honest people that make decisions in Boerne and they are hell bent on pushing football regardless of what it costs the taxpayers.
Here is the next scam for Boerne. A third high school will be deemed necessary. There is no way that three high schools will be allowed to play on the same football stadium. Thus, a monster stadium will be “needed”. This stadium will be built on Hwy.
46. That then will feed the “need” for the loop to be built from Hwy. 46 to Welfare.
They only thing that Boerne leaders care about is money. They don’t care about keeping the historical value, protecting the water or the quality of life for the taxpayers. Boerne leaders only care about making Boerne as big as possible so they can get more money and pat themselves on their backs.
– Tyler Smurr, Boerne
Don’t destroy the beauty
An open letter to the Boerne Council:
How could any of you even consider a concrete plant on the property off Hwy. 46 E. The underground natural spring that feeds the spring-fed pond on the Laura and Curtis Grote property will be destroyed, the wildlife and the Golden Cheek Warblers in the center western portion of the 19 acres he purchased will be destroyed. It’s why I told and showed buyer to absolutely do not disturb the specific area and why I specifically left old cedars on western part of center of 19 acres. He assured me he would respect the property and was going to keep it for many years for personal use and long term investment.
In my opinion from my own experience, I was conned. I believe all are being conned as well. Not care who or what is destroyed to get what they want. Money!
Hopefully no one will sell their souls and destroy people’s lives, natural underground spring that never dried up even in the worst drought in Hill Country history. Beautiful rare birds. Wildlife.
The 40 to 60 heavy trucks destroying roads, sucking the underground spring dry, polluting the air and beauty many strive to preserve. Please, no more! How everyone is not doing everything they possibly could to stop just Shocks me. Please don’t let them destroy at least some of the little beauty left just for money. Can’t take that with you.
– Deborah SCHMIDT, daughter of Lucie Richter, granddaughter of Max Richter, great-granddaughter of Max Richter Sr. who was part of first families to settle