The Bayou Land Conservancy sent this letter today to the Committee Clerk of the House Environmental Regulation Committee. The Conservancy has allowed me to publish it:
On behalf of Bayou Land Conservancy, I urge you to vote FOR HB 909 when the Environmental Regulation Committee meets to consider this bill. Bayou Land Conservancy is a non-profit, community-supported land conservation organization that preserves land along streams for flood control, clean water, and wildlife. We preserve 14,000 acres in the Houston region, focused on the Lake Houston watershed. This includes the San Jacinto River, cited in 2006 as one of America’s most endangered rivers due to a number of threats, including the high intensity of local aggregate mining.
HB 909 would require the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to adopt and make accessible best management practices for aggregate producers to comply with applicable environmental laws and rules.
This adoption of best management practices would be an important, and needed, step to ensure that aggregate production in Texas is done with sensitivity to the environment and to community standards. As the population of Texas continues to grow, with the corresponding increase in construction of buildings, roads, and bridges, there is greater risk to the quality of life and safety for many communities located near mining operations.
As one of the nation’s leading aggregate producing states, we know Texas can lead in developing higher standards. We recommend best management practices that consider community values, such as:
- Employ public notice and stakeholder process guidelines to ensure mining operations are in step with local priorities and concerns
- Maintain setbacks or standards for siting operations away from sensitive areas or those with the highest likelihood to cause impacts
- Develop environmental impact statements for proposed mining operations
- Enact mitigation standards to reclaim the project area after facility closure
- Utilize progressive reclamation with a step-be-step restoration of the site over time rather than waiting for final closure
- Require the submission of an approved reclamation plan prior to permit approval
- Require the certification of financial security to perform reclamation activities before permit approval
- Require post-use conservation easements to ensure that the floodplain is left undeveloped and can provide a community amenity opportunity.
There is urgency for Texas to lead by enacting commonsense solutions that protect the community.
Without development and implementation of best management practices, such as those outlined above that would keep sediment in place through floodplain preservation and mine reclamation, downstream communities will continue to be at risk of water quality degradation and flooding.
Please vote YES on HB 909.
(Signed) Jill Boullion
Please Support HB 909; Here’s How
Call. Write. Or testify in person TODAY. The committee meets to consider this bill tomorrow. The following representatives comprise the Environmental Regulation committee.
- Rep. J. M. Lozano (512) 463-0463
- Rep. Ed Thompson (512) 463-0707
- Rep. César Blanco (512) 463-0622
- Rep. Kyle J. Kacal (512) 463-0412
- Rep. John Kuempel (512) 463-0602
- Rep. Geanie W. Morrison (512) 463-0456
- Rep. Ron Reynolds (512) 463-0494
- Rep. John Turner (512) 463-0576
- Rep. Erin Zwiener (512) 463-0647
- Committee Clerk: Scott Crownover. (512) 463-0776
If you can come to Austin to testify, please do. The meeting will be held Wednesday, May 1, in room E1.026 of the Capitol Building. Most likely hearing time is in the evening around 8 p.m., but get I plan to get there early. Hope to see you there.
Posted by Bob Rehak on April 30, 2019
609 Days since Hurricane Harvey