Tag Archive for: TRAM

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

1249 Days since Hurricane Harvey

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.

Statewide Group Called TRAM Has Formed to Lobby for Responsible Aggregate Mining

Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) is a statewide coalition of member groups seeking to work with lawmakers, state agencies, and good-faith industry operators. Their goal: to create state standards for best management practices in the rapidly expanding Aggregate Production Operation (APO) industry, and adopt those standards into law.

“Our goal is to create a healthier, safer and more desirable community for Texans as well as a more efficient APO industry that is aligned with the concerns of the communities in which they operate,” says TRAM’s new website, which launched last week.

TRAM Represents 10 Organizations in 29 Counties

So far, TRAM represents groups reaching into 29 counties. Each of those counties have felt the effects of aggregate mining.

Groups include:

The Texas Aggregate and Concrete Association, TACA, which claims to advocate for more responsible mining practices, is noticeable for its absence.

Counties represented by TRAM Alliance
TRAM logo

Key Issues Identified by TRAM

TRAM members have identified six key issues they wish to affect:

  • Air particulate emissions
  • Water use
  • Surface and groundwater contamination
  • Rapid, largely unregulated development of Aggregate Production Operations
  • Truck traffic
  • Nuisance issues such as noise, blight, and blight on surrounding properties

They hope to educate legislators on each of these issues.

For More Information

Groups like this don’t spring up without cause. To learn more, visit TRAM’s website, contact info@TRAMTexas.org.

You can also visit the sand mining page or the index page of this web site to review information on APOs and sand mining specifically in the Houston region.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/13/2020

1049 Days since Hurricane Harvey