We are committed to investing in the future of Comal County and operating in a safe, responsible manner.
- Why does Comal County need another quarry?
Comal County is one of the nation’s fastest-growing large counties, including growth along the I-35, Hwy 46 and Hwy 281 corridors. For example, long-term plans call for the widening of Hwy 46, which would eventually serve as a third loop around San Antonio.
- What is the total life of the quarry?
Depending on market conditions, it may take up to 80 years to mine. We expect to mine about 50 acres in the first 10 years.
- How will property be used?
Set on 1,500 acres of property, the quarry will be uniquely designed to fit within the existing landscape and topography. There will be 600+ acres of buffer, setback and non-mining areas. More than 40% of the property will not be mined.
- How close will you mine to the property line?
We will maintain a minimum buffer of 100-200 feet from the property line. Keep in mind, we expect to mine only 50 acres in the first 10 years. It could take up to 80 years to complete the entire mining area.
- Where will product be transported?
This will be a local operation. We will generally transport product to an area within 15-20 miles, including the Hwy 281 corridor.
- What about trucks?
Today, market demand is bringing truck traffic up north from the south. By locating near Hwy 46, we will help reduce the total truck miles needed to serve the market demand. After about six years, we estimate approximately 153 truck trips a day (entering and leaving).
- What road improvements will be necessary?
We are working with TxDOT on any necessary road improvements near the entrance to ensure safety and proper traffic flow, in accordance with applicable state laws and guidelines.
- What is the status of the project?
An application for an air permit was submitted to TCEQ and is being processed. We are preparing a stormwater permit application and associated water pollution abatement plan (WPAP) that will ensure protection of water quality. We are working with TxDOT on any necessary road improvements.
Protecting the safety and health of our employees and the surrounding community is Vulcan’s highest priority.
- What is a blast?
A blast is a safe, precise and controlled process used to extract rock from the ground. It typically lasts less than one second.
- How will Vulcan ensure safe blasting?
Vulcan will conduct blasting in compliance with all applicable laws. We will protect the health and safety of our neighbors and employees, and the integrity of surrounding aboveground and underground structures. We will:
• Actively monitor blasts. We will use seismographic monitoring that will be conducted by independent, third-party technicians. This ensures blasting is conducted well below federal and state limits and protects the health and safety of our neighbors and employees and of the integrity of surrounding structures, both aboveground and underground.
• Keep neighbors informed. Some neighbors like to know when blasting occurs. We’ll offer to put our neighbors on a call list to receive advance notification of a scheduled blast.
- How often will you blast?
Blasting on average 1-2 times per month in Year 1. Each blast typically lasts less than one second. In years 5-10, we’ll blast approximately 1-2 times per week.
- What may I experience?
The blasting will create small, safe ground vibrations and air overpressure (sound) that a person can sometimes feel or hear. Because of our safe approach, most neighbors will not feel or hear anything. The average sound produced by a blast is less than that of a roll of thunder in the clouds.
- What regulations will you follow?
We are required to operate at blasting levels that are proven by the U.S. Bureau of Mines to protect the health and safety of neighbors and employees, as well as the integrity of nearby aboveground and underground structures.
Vulcan has established a strong record of environmental stewardship and will operate the Comal Quarry in an environmentally responsible manner that meets or exceeds local, state and federal regulations.
- What will you do to control dust and other emissions?
The processing plant will meet or exceed all applicable requirements related to obtaining and maintaining the air permit. The air permit will require the processing plant to utilize best available control technologies (BACT) to control dust and other emissions. Examples include utilizing permanently mounted spray bars on the plant equipment and applying water or environmentally safe treatments to in-plant roads and traffic areas, active rock processing areas and stockpiles. The use of BACT, among other things, will ensure that dust and other emissions from the processing plant will be protective of public health, welfare, property and the environment.
- How will you manage water runoff?
We will obtain and comply with a stormwater permit that will regulate and authorize stormwater runoff during rain events. Stormwater will be inspected, sampled, and subjected to stormwater management controls to ensure it meets the specific permit limits. In addition, a water pollution abatement plan (WPAP) will be required as part of the permit. The WPAP will detail the engineered controls that manage all the stormwater runoff in a manner that is protective of water quality, and the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. We are working on the stormwater permit application and WPAP.
- What about the existing waterways/creeks on the property
We will not be impounding any water that runs in any waterways/creeks. We will allow water in waterways/creeks to continue on its natural course.
- How will you protect the Edwards Aquifer?
The project will not impact the Edwards Aquifer. Rock will be extracted from the upper surface above the aquifer water table. Additionally, the requirements of the WPAP will further protect water quality.
- How much water will you use?
We will draw no water from the Edwards Aquifer. We will draw minimal water from the Trinity Aquifer and will recycle an average of 85% of the water. Our water usage will be far less than the amount of water used by most residential subdivisions.
- What about diesel emissions?
We know the facility will be safe because it has to be safe for our employees, who are closest to the operation. In fact, our employee health record consistently leads the industry. We will initially use diesel-powered processing equipment that will transition to line-power as the site develops. We will also utilize low-sulfur fuel.
- How will the project impact the area?
We operate many similar facilities in the middle of high density areas with homes, schools, churches and businesses as neighbors, as well as in remote ranching communities. We have a history of doing both with minimal impacts.
- How will you manage lighting?
We will be respectful to the community and install lighting that provides a balance between neighbors, permit requirements, security needs, and the safety of our employees and visitors
- What’s your environmental record?
Vulcan has never been cited for any air permit violations for its rock crushing or ready mix operations in Texas in during the past 20 years. Vulcan has been given a performance classification of “high” by the TCEQ for our compliance and environmental programs in Texas, including at our 1604 Quarry in San Antonio. This means that Vulcan complies with environmental regulations extremely well. Vulcan just completed the best MSHA/OSHA safety record in our 60-year history, a world-class performance that is far better than the industry average. Vulcan is 99 percent citation-free with state and federal environmental inspections nationally. In addition, Vulcan has been vigilant when it comes to disclosing any issues at our facilities and will continue to comply with state law when it comes to self-auditing. Comal Quarry will operate with the same high standards that have resulted in a top tier safety and environmental record for our company.
- What violations has Vulcan received?
Among our 65 facilities, Vulcan received one storm water violation in 2013 and four in 2014 at our facility in Bexar County. All violations were rectified, and there have been none since.
- Was Vulcan responsible for the dusting event in 2013?
No. An incident occurred in 2013, which resulted in a neighborhood near our 1604 facility getting dusted with an unknown substance. Lab samples showed that Vulcan, which was never cited, had no involvement in the incident. We did not manufacture the types of products or substances that could have caused such an event, which occurred when our facility was closed and not operating. Once Vulcan became aware of the incident, we contacted authorities and ultimately shared the findings with TCEQ that were made part of the investigation. The findings showed it would be impossible to recreate that incident with the equipment, substances, procedures and processes that were and are on site at the facility then and now.