Dangers To Our Critical Water Sources

“We employ the latest technologies designed to protect air quality, water resources and the health and well-being of our neighbors and the communities we serve.”

-John Berger

Vulcan Materials Regional Manager

Boerne Star January 19, 2018

 

“We will maintain a steadfast commitment to minimize any adverse impacts our activites have on the environment in which we operate. We will comply with all environmental laws and regulations.”

 -Vulcan Materials

Company Core Values

 

What Vulcan says does not seem to match what Vulcan does.  

What the massive Vulcan mine pit at their Ready Mix plant on 1604 looked like prior to 2013…

                                               

 

What it looks like recently…

 

                       Image Source: Utexas.org Leaflet Software used by: BCAD, Comal County, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Esri, HERE, Garmin, Intermap,  INCREMENT P, USGS, METI/NASA, USDA, EPA.  It is the most recent satellite image source available

 

To read about the numerous reasons why breaching the water table in the EARZ is a serious problem go to www.aquiferalliance.org/aquifer-at-risk/

 

In a nut shell this causes damage to the sensitive structures on the EARZ, and “dewatering” it can cause this “cone effect” that can suck local wells dry & create sink holes etc.  In addition to this and more importantly all the toxic, carcinogenic contaminates we are all concerned about in concrete production is easily reintroduced to the Aquifer.  

There are numerous rules in the EAA permit rules for quarry operations to ensure that this very thing DOES NOT happen.  So much for those “latest technologies.” 

Specific verbiage taken directly from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2005, “Complying with the Edwards Aquifer Rules Technical Guidance on Best Management Practice”:

*A quarry operation in areas over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone presents a special risk to groundwater quality and water supplies. This is because quarrying requires substantial amounts of heavy equipment, equipment maintenance areas, refueling operations, and often includesassociated activities such as concrete or asphalt batch plants. The act of removing rock reduces the separation between these activities and the water table, making the groundwater system much more vulnerable in the processIn order to prevent pollution of groundwater in the Edwards Aquifer, it is recommended that a minimum separation of 25 feet between the quarry pit floor and the groundwater level be maintained for quarries located on the recharge zone. The water level in the Edwards varies substantially across the area and with changes in rainfall. Consequently, the 25 foot separation should be maintained during even relatively wet years. Analysis of historical rainfall records indicates that 90% of years have rainfall depths of less than 45 inches, and this has been selected as the critical rainfall depth.

Sensitive features are defined in the Edwards Aquifer rules as permeable geologic or manmade features located on the recharge zone or transition zone where: · a potential for hydraulic interconnectedness between the surface and the Edwards Aquifer exists, and · rapid infiltration to the subsurface may occur Sensitive features comprise a large variety of types including caves, solution cavities, solution enlarged fractures, sinkholes or other karst surface expressions that meet the definition for sensitive in the “Instructions to Geologists for Geological Assessments” (TCEQ-0585 Instructions).  EAA rules require quarries to drill test wells so they know where the water table is and keep a safe distance from it.

The EAA rules require that Best Management Practices (BMPs) be implemented to “prevent pollutants from entering…sensitive features…” and “maintain flow to naturally occurring sensitive features.” [TAC 213.5(b)(4)(B) and TAC 213.5(b)(4)(C)].