Legislative Goals Re: Sand Mining
- Establish a water quality district on the San Jacinto like the John Graves District on the Brazos.
- Key Provision #1: Moves mining outside the 100-year flood plain as permits come up for renewal.
- Why? Mining in floodway can accelerate sedimentation far above the natural rate. Sediment accumulations form dams that block river and contribute to flooding.
- Key Provision #2: Establishes performance bonds to ensure reclamation.
- Why? Some miners walk away from mines before reclamation, creating eyesores and safety hazards that discourage development in surrounding communities.
- Put teeth in TCEQ fines.
- Key Provision: Increases fines to the point where they actually discourage negative practices.
- Why? Current fines are slap on wrist. Average fine for last 7 years was about $800. Has not cleaned up industry.
- Bring best management practices for sand mining in Texas up to the standards in the rest of the country and the world.
- Key Provisions:
- Locate mines outside of floodways. (Most important)
- Establish performance bonds to cover the cost of cleanup.
- Increase the width of dikes.
- Decrease the slope of dikes.
- Control erosion with vegetation.
- Replant areas not actively being mined.
- Avoid clearing areas that will not soon be mined.
- Protect stockpiles from flooding.
- Mine only above the thalweg (deepest part of the river).
- Establish performance bonds to guarantee remediation of breaches and/or repurposing of mined areas once mining is complete
- Why? The practices where we lag the rest of the world caused the most damage during Harvey.
Fact Sheets (Some still in Development)
- Overview – How Sand Mines Exacerbate Flooding
- Lake Houston Area Damages
- Improving Best Management Practices
- Dangers of River Mining
- River Migration, Pit Capture, and Erosion Hazard Zones
- John Graves District: A Model for the Future of the San Jacinto
- Importance of Vegetation in Reducing Erosion
- Is There Enough Sand Outside the Floodway?
- Economic Development Not Linked to Location of Sand Mines
- Underappraisal of Sand Mine Properties in Montgomery County
HB509 Allows Texas Railroad Commission to regulate APOs with TCEQ. Requires: hydrologic impact study, public notice, public hearings, and provides fines up to $10,000 and 1-year in jail for false statements.
HB 907 Doubles the penalties for not registering a sand mining operation. New penalties can range from $10,000 to $20,000 per year with the total not to exceed $50,000.
HB 908 Provides for penalties up to $50,000 for water code violations and every-other-year inspections.
HB 909 Calls for the TCEQ to adopt and publish best management practices for sand mines (aggregate production operations) that comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations.
HB509 Filed Dec. 11, 2018
HB 907 Filed Jan. 17, 2019
HB 908 Filed Jan. 17, 2019
HB 909 Filed Jan. 17, 2019