The Texas Commission on Environmental Control (TCEQ) is currently considering an air permit application for Vulcan’s Comal Quarry, located at Highway 46 and FM 3009 in Comal County.
As part of the review process, TCEQ has determined the permit application meets all local, state and federal air quality standards. In February, TCEQ conducted a public meeting where the agency answered questions and gathered public comment on the project. Its decision to issue the air permit is pending.
As many of you know, the quarry will meet the increasing demands for construction materials for local residential, commercial and infrastructure needs and ensure well-managed economic growth for the area.
Unfortunately, there has also been a great deal of misinformation regarding our environmental record. We’d like to set the record straight by supplying you with the facts. This is important to us because we work hard to protect the safety, health and well-being of our employees, neighbors and the communities we serve.
First, it’s important to note:
- Vulcan has never been cited for any air permit violations for its rock crushing or ready mix operations in Texas in 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.
As to accusations about alleged violations, here are the facts:
Accusation: “Vulcan has received 44 violations of TCEQ permit requirements in the past 5 years in Bexar County alone.”
Fact: 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.
Accusation: “Vulcan has received 93 complaints filed with TCEQ.”
Fact: Vulcan received a total of 84 complaints in the state of Texas from 2002 to present, compared to more than 3,500 complaints against other companies in Bexar County alone during that same period.
Accusation: “Vulcan once sprayed a neighborhood with chemicals.”
Fact: 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.
In addition, Vulcan has been vigilant when it comes to disclosing issues at our facilities. We will remain diligent in our self-reporting and will continue to comply with Texas law and follow the required procedures when it comes to the self-auditing process.
We want to assure you that we will construct and operate each facility the way we’ve always done things – the right way. At Vulcan, we are fortunate in having the safety, environmental, engineering and operations resources and support to ensure that we operate in a safe and socially responsible manner.
Comal Quarry will operate with the same high standards that have resulted in a top tier safety and environmental record for our company. It is our intention to make sure that this facility sets a new standard for the industry.