Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining Release Video Showing Statewide Nature of Problems

Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) released a new video today demonstrating statewide issues with aggregate production operators (APOs). Just in time for the 2021 legislative session, the 12-minute video calls the concerns non-partisan, but says they requiring bi-partisan support. Their goal: to find the right balance between economic growth, public health, environmental preservation and regulation.

The group’s research found that Texas is one of seven states without comprehensive APO regulations. That leaves APOs in Texas largely unchecked and out-of-control.

Video Examines Six Major Concerns

Excessive sedimentation that leads to flooding is not the only issue associated with aggregate mining as practiced in Texas. The video shows APO operations across the state and addresses six major concerns:

  1. Air particulate emissions
  2. Water quality and availability
  3. Surface and groundwater contamination, and flooding
  4. Rapid development of APOs with adequate regulatory oversight
  5. Truck traffic, safety, and road repairs plus their costs
  6. Nuisance issues such as noise and light pollution, plus blasting

This vividly demonstrates some of the issues discussed in the House Interim Committee’s Report on Aggregate Production Operations released earlier this week.

Screen capture courtesy of TRAM. Click to play video.

Packed with Fascinating Factoids about Aggregate Mining

The video is packed with eye-opening factoids. Did you know, for instance, that:

  • One 80,000 pound truck creates the wear and tear of 9600 cars?
  • Texans subsidize truck damage to roads to the tune of $.23 cents per mile driven for every fully loaded commercial vehicle?
  • APO contract vehicles typically operate on a per-load basis, often leading them to push the safety envelope to carry more loads?
  • APOs can reduce property values by 5% up to 3 miles away and more than 25% within a quarter mile?

Screen Capture Courtesy of TRAM. Click to play video.

Relationship Between Regulation and Growth

In case you want to do your own econometric analysis on the relationship between growth and aggregate regulation, TRAM offers a good starting point. This link shows a state-by-state breakdown of regulations. Who has comprehensive mining regulations, who has partial and who has none?

Of the ten fastest growing states, three have no comprehensive mining regulations; six do, and one has partial regulation. Net: the proposition that lax regulation of APOs creates fast growth is dubious.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/29/2021

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The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.