SOAH Judge Rules in Favor of Quarry Opponents

An extremely vocal coalition of area ranchers, business people, ex-military personnel and retired professionals convinced Administrative Law Judge Rebecca Smith to grant them “affected-party” status at a March 6 hearing to determine who has the right to challenge a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) air permit that would allow Vulcan Construction Materials to turn the old Eric White Ranch near FM 3009 and SH-46 into a 1,500-acre open-pit limestone quarry.

Residents packed Comal County commissioners historic courtroom where they booed Winstead attorney Derek Seal, representing Vulcan, and were admonished by Judge Smith to respect all opinions at the State Office of Administrative Hearing (SOAH).

However, she ultimately agreed with the boisterous crowd that anyone who spoke at the hearing and lived within a five-mile radius of the portable rock crusher, where TCEQ will monitor air quality, has the right to speak at a contested-case hearing (CCH) in June.

Read more from Stephanie Johnson with My Canyon Lake here.