It is good to be in the North Texas Hill Country. Our cedar and oak covered hills are pleasing to the eye as they undulate across the land to meet the horizon. In springtime the Spanish oaks show their first budding leaves in pale shades of yellow, orange and red, a gentle reminder of the coming fall color extravaganza. The air is cleaner here, as we drive away from our dirty city skies, with just enough of the tangy scent of cedar to serve as aroma therapy to those who live here, visit, or may be just passing through. On clear nights star constellations can be easily seen as they travel across the sky, a phenomena that has been mostly lost in our cities. This is not breadbasket country, though many of us have pastures, small planted fields or gardens. The V shape formations of migrating geese are the most familiar “plowshare” shapes in this locale. Two endangered birds, the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo make these hills their home and refuge. The Barnett shale is thinner and more unreliable here, thus making natural beauty the main wealth and attraction of this place.
All of this has been threatened with the proposed mining and rock crushing plant of a Mr. Tommy Davis, dba Slick Machines, of Brownwood, Texas, who has applied to the TCEQ for issuance of Air Quality Permit Number 82199L002 to take down one of the major hills at Chalk Mountain. A roadside park on Highway 67 overlooks this site. Presently this picnic area with its breath-taking view is a jewel of the Texas State Park system. Imagine this and other of our scenic hills destroyed, leaving ragged, raw and unsightly scars. Picture the trucks and conveyances necessary for such operations that will snarl, congest and damage our highways. Listen to the noise of the dynamite and rock crushing machines that will produce 75,000 tons of rock a year and drown out the serenity of quiet and natural sounds. Imagine air that is filled with haze from the dust and particulate matter that will compromise breathing and dull the night sky. Think of our pure water contaminated and lost. Wonder where our scenic hills and abundant wildlife have gone and what could have happened to the tourists?
Citizens of Somervell and Erath Counties, when contacted Mr. Davis was reported to say, “I’m taking down that mountain.” Don’t let Mr. Davis and others destroy our scenery, property, wildlife and legacy for their own gain. Let’s respond with People Power.
We need every person in Somervell and Erath Counties to write the *Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ) to protest the permit and request a Public Meeting to address the air emissions from the proposed facility (Permit request #82199L002). Also, your letter should be copied to Representative Sid Miller, Senator Kip Averitt and local officials, Judge Walter Maynard and Commissioner Zach Cummings. The contact information is listed below:
* Officer of the Chief Clerk Senator Kip Averitt Representative Sid Miller
MC105,TECQ 1100 E. Hwy 377, Suite 103 6407 S. U. S. Hwy 377
P.O. Box 13087 Granbury, TX, 76048 Stephenville, TX, 76401
Austin, TX, 7811-3087 Phone (817) 573-9622 Phone (254) 968-3535
Fax (512) 239-3311 Fax (817) 579-7172 Fax (254) 968-6903
Judge Walter Maynard Commissioner Zach Cummings
P.O. Box 28 P.O. Box 28
Glen Rose, TX, 76043 Glen Rose, TX, 76043
Phone (254) 897-2206 Phone (254) 897-2206
Fax (254) 897-7703 Fax (254) 897-7703