The City of Marble Falls and a list of other plaintiffs are suing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) after it issued authorization to Asphalt Inc. LLC to construct and operate a permanent rock crushing plant in Burnet County.
The lawsuit states the plant lays partially inside the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the City of Marble Falls, and that the formal authorization was given on Nov. 30 by the Director of the TCEQ's Air Permits Division.
The City of Marble Falls claims the location of the proposed Asphalt Inc. plant disrupts the city's plans for growth, undermines anticipated tax value by millions of dollars over the next few years and leaves the residents of Marble Falls faced with increased environmental and health risks due to the air contaminants they say will be emitted from the Asphalt Inc. facility.
A second plaintiff, residential property developer Marble Falls 300, said it is concerned about the possible health impacts of the plant. It purchased a tract of land with intent to develop it as a residential community about 3,700 feet west of the Asphalt Inc. site.
A third, homeowner Grant Dean, is also concerned about the adverse potential health impacts of the plant, especially with regard to emissions of PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter) and silica and harm to his land, which is just more than 3,000 linear feet from the site. Dean, who keeps bees on his property and is required to feed other wild animals for a wildlife exemption, also believes the plant will harm wildlife on his property and cause him to lose the exemption.
The fourth plaintiff is Paul King, who owns a 58-acre tract of land 4,000 feet from the site and has concerns with the rock crushing facility affecting air quality, noise, health impacts and traffic. He states he has a development agreement with Marble Falls and Harvard Investments to bring utilities for his site called Live Oak Village.
The lawsuit also claims that the TCEQ's standard permit for permanent rock rushing facilities violates the Texas Clean Air Act and states that the TCEQ Response to Comments does not indicate that it is complying with current procedures for evaluating PM2.5 emissions.
The plaintiffs are requesting multiple declaratory judgments that the authorization of the rock crushing plant was made illegally and that it violates the rights of the City. It also requests an injunction against the TCEQ, barring it from issuing any further authorizations or revisions for Asphalt Inc's plant operated under the current standard permit.
KVUE has reached out to TCEQ for a statement, but has not heard back yet. This story will update when TCEQ responds.