Kyle, TX — State Representative Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) was one of nine representatives and public members appointed to the House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations (APOs) by Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) on Tuesday, December 10.
APOs, which include concrete batch plants and rock quarries, are having a dramatic impact on the environment and surrounding communities in rapidly growing counties like Hays and Blanco.
Rep. Zwiener worked tirelessly with Representative Terry Wilson (R-Marble Falls) and fellow Hill Country representatives during the 86th Legislative Session to address the impacts of APOs.
“I’m honored to have been appointed to this committee where I can serve as a voice for the Hill Country,” said Rep. Zwiener. “New quarries and concrete batch plants are proliferating to provide the road base and concrete for new construction. Some of these operators are good neighbors, but others are locating immediately next to existing neighborhoods, bringing excessive dust, light, noise, and traffic.”
During the 86th Texas Legislative Session, Representative Zwiener filed four bills relating to the oversight of APOs. HB 2939 would have required hours of operations for APO facilities to be between 7 A.M. and 9 P.M.
HB 3033 would have allowed county commissioners to restrict the location of new APOs facilities to at least one mile from a residence, school, place of worship, or hospital.
HB 3034 would have established load limits on roads utilized by such operators before air permits can be issued. Finally, HB 3035 would have made certain that penalties imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are at least equal to the value of economic benefit gained by the violator.
“I’ve heard from dozens of constituents about bad actors who skirt the law, avoid getting necessary permits, and drastically damage the quality of life for their neighbors,” Rep. Zwiener said. “I am grateful for the chance to work on this Interim Study Committee to ensure that every gravel pit, concrete batch plant, or stone crusher is a good neighbor.”
APOs include rock crushing facilities, concrete batch plants, and hot-mix asphalt plants. The House Interim Study Committee will monitor the implementation of HB 907, which increases the frequency of inspections for new APOs and the penalty for APOs not registered with TCEQ, and review the impact of APOs on issues such as air quality, disruption of groundwater, distance of facilities from adjoining property lines, nuisance issues relating to dust, noise, and light, etc.