The Chalk Mountain Foundation is seeking interested persons to attend the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, commissioners meeting on June 30 in Austin to consider Slick Machines' rock crushing permit application.
No time for the meeting has been set yet. Watch the Reporter for future updates.
Foundation member Darrell Best said he received a call from the TCEQ's office of public assistance inquiring about the size of the expected crowd when the commissioners meet about the rock crushing permit application. The meeting may be moved to a larger room if a lot of people from Somervell County attend.
“It is clear they understand that this is a hot topic in Somervell County,” Best said. “They said that typically the public does not get to address the commissioners, but if our lawyer was present he could make a statement.”
The meeting is significant, Best said, because commissioners could decide to approve the permit, deny the permit or move the permit to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
“Our hope is for the permit application to be moved to the SOAH, as it is unlikely they would deny the permit at this stage, although they could approve,” Best said. “Therefore, I am asking that anyone who can make the trip to Austin do so, even though we will not be allowed to talk.
“The commissioners need to see that this issue is of interest to the entire community, not a narrow group of affected landowners,” he added.
Slick Machines also is operating a rock crusher across U.S. Highway 67 at Corky Underwood's property. The company applied for a "standard permit” there, which allows for rock crushing without going through the public comment process since the crushing takes place for a limited time for a limited amount of rock, Best said.
“As Slick has a permit in process for the pit across the street, he cannot apply for another permit, so through a loophole he applied for a permit through a third party for the Underwood property,” Best said. “We are fighting this permit application as well.
“In the meantime, more endangered species habitat is being destroyed, dynamiting is going on and the stockpile of rock is rising,” Best added.
To become a member of the Chalk Mountain Foundation or if you are interested in traveling to Austin to support its opposition to the permit, contact Best at 214-517-7789 or email@example.com. Officers also will be elected at the foundation's annual meeting during the week of June 21.