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Old 01-24-2010, 09:52 PM   #41
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These fights *can* be won, so good luck. We had a neighborhood group successfully fight a local development. It really helped that we had several lawyers, civil and environmental engineers that were affected, so they volunteered tons of time to the fight.

Like the old story of the two hikers and the grizzly bear, you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the other guy. The company may just find easier pickings if you can delay them enough.

What about Native American burial sites? That has slowed down some developments in IL.

Your comment about zoning laws (lack of) is troubling though. If you move into an area adjacent to property w/o clear zoning, it's a bit tougher to fight whatever someone wants to put there and claim it will hurt your property values. They can say your property values already reflected the open zoning and risks. The lesson I learned from our little local fight was to fully investigate any nearby undeveloped property before purchasing. That idyllic farm property at the end of the block could turn into anything in ten years. You want to know what the options are (and realize they can change if they can fight and get things rezoned).

Good luck, you definitely have a shot at it, but as you know, it won't be easy.

-ERD50
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:16 AM   #42
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Keep us posted, REW.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:28 AM   #43
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Wow, sounds like an awesome grass roots effort. If you don't "find" any endangered species, how about "planting" a few.......
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:03 PM   #44
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Wow, sounds like an awesome grass roots effort. If you don't "find" any endangered species, how about "planting" a few.......
I bet Westernskies could send him a few Jack-a-lopes
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:30 PM   #45
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I bet Westernskies could send him a few Jack-a-lopes
Those are only endangered here on FIRE...
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:42 PM   #46
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Feisty is a good thing. I respect that.
Go get 'em!

Thanks for all your time and hard w*rk here.

Can I still throw you a "slow pitch" here and there if I see you on the forum?
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #47
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REWahoo - any update? I mean, this is like "Dallas" only it's near San Antonio - who shot REWahoo?? :-)
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:22 PM   #48
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Update:

Three state permits are required for Zumwalt to open his quarry - a water abatement plan, an air permit, and a driveway permit allowing access from his property to the state highway.

Water permit: The water permit was approved by the state on February 4. We have until Feb 26 to file an Motion for Reconsideration. We have a Phd. Hydrologist reviewing the plan and our attorney will file a reconsideration motion with the state by the deadline.

Air permit: The public comment period for the air permit closed on Feb. 17. The state has 30 days to approve/disapprove the plan. We have a number of issues we plan to use as a basis for a lawsuit against the state if the plan is approved - provided we have the funds to pursue the suit.

Driveway permit: The state Dept of Transportation has notified the applicant he will be required to either move his access point to another location (across a creek) or pay for the construction of additional acceleration and turn lanes on the highway frontage. No word yet on what Zumwalt will do.

The battle continues...

I find it absurd that the very state agency which we expect will approve these permits has an ongoing a $5.7 million lawsuit against Zumwalt for multiple violations of the Texas Clean Air Act and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act. Is this a great country or what?

The battle continues...
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:28 AM   #49
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I find it absurd that the very state agency which we expect will approve these permits has an ongoing a $5.7 million lawsuit against Zumwalt for multiple violations of the Texas Clean Air Act and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act. Is this a great country or what?
The battle continues...
Especially in a state where "presumed innocent until proven guilty" can peacefully co-exist with "Yer Honor, he needed killin'..."
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #50
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... Is this a great country or what?

The battle continues...
Great thread. All the best.

For all our country's flaws, it still is a great place. Imagine encountering this situation in China!
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:16 PM   #51
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Let me know if you want me to call my uncle Tony for you.

Water is becoming the oil of the new century. Its scarry. Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:52 PM   #52
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Life without purpose has become life with a purpose!

Where I currently work we have one of those big Diesel rock crushing V12 Cat motors (we use it as a generator). They are extremely noisy, even with ours that has a custom muffler on it. Can't imagine the noise without a muffler and crushing rocks to boot!

Keep us posted and good luck!
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:59 PM   #53
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Life without purpose...
I never saw it that way.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #54
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I never saw it that way.
You have merely been re-purposed.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:18 AM   #55
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I've always found it unfortunate that such battles have to be fought with technicalities rather than on the basis of what's "right and wrong". From what REWahoo describes, it's just "wrong" to site a quarry in this location. NIMBY means just that in this case.

But, I suppose each of us has a different idea of what is right and what is wrong. Some folks (those who killed the Superferry here in the islands) would have you believe that every act of man - probably including breathing - is detrimental to nature and wildlife and should therefore be banned. Funny when you see the SUVs the "environmental crowd" (and their lawyers) seem to drive - but that's another story.

Somehow it seems we need to find a balance and that's difficult to do when there are such opposing views between those trying to make a buck at any environmental cost and those who believe any progress is "rape" of the land. (Not saying that's the case here, just noting the gulf between views on what is good or bad in the environmental realm.) Even when it's "clear cut" as it seems in REWahoo's situation, one has to fight the fight with delaying tactics, and hope the other side will eventually get tired or run out of money. How unfortunate - but at least it gives REWahoo something to get up for each day.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:46 PM   #56
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Another update on our battle to stop the quarry:

Water permit: Following the TCEQ's administrative rules, we filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the approved water permit on Feb 26. The state granted themselves an extension to May 5 to rule on our request. Unfortunately the statutes allow us only 30 days after the permit is granted (Feb 4) to seek legal remedy (screwy, but this is the gummit, so what do you expect), so we filed a lawsuit against the TCEQ on March 2. The basis for the suit is essentially the same as the Motion for Reconsideration, that the TCEQ did not follow its own rules in granting the permit.

Air permit: The TCEQ denied the Air Permit. (Can you see me grinning ). The reason for the denial was the failure of Zumwalt to meet all the requirements of the permit, which he failed to do because he posted his legal notice in the wrong newspaper. He can reapply but will have to start the entire process all over again which will take a minimum of three months, probably longer.

Note: The denial of the air permit was a total surprise - these permits are considered to be virtual slam dunks. Can't help wondering if the state's ongoing $5.7 million lawsuit against Zumwalt might have come into play.

Driveway permit: Zumwalt still has not submitted plans to TXDot for the road improvements needed for his driveway permit.

We won a battle, and the war continues...
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:52 PM   #57
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Another update on our battle to stop the quarry:

Water permit:

Air permit: The TCEQ denied the Air Permit. (Can you see me grinning ).


Driveway permit:

We won a battle, and the war continues...

That's they way to do it. Cause them enough delays, show them you are not a push over and they will look for greener (and hopefully more appropriate) pastures.

Keep up the pressure! Good Luck!

-ERD50
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:36 PM   #58
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Update #3 on the quarry fight:

Water permit: Four responses have been filed to our Motion for Reconsideration asking the three TCEQ Commissioners to overturn the water pollution abatement plan approved by their agency.

- Zumwalt responded to say, in so many words, "You're full of it".
- Our state senator responded supporting our motion.
- The Executive Director of the TCEQ responded asking the Commissioners to grant our motion due to the failure of Zumwalt to properly disclose in his application the location was within the ETJ of the city of San Antonio. This application "error" was not corrected until two and one half months after the application was submitted and gave little time for San Antonio to respond prior to the plan's approval.
- The TECQ's Office of Public Interest Council (similar to an ombudsman) responded agreeing with the validity of five of the seven issues we outlined in our motion and asking the Commissioners to overturn the approved plan.

From what we've been able to learn the active support of both the Executive Director and the OPIC to overturn an agency decision is very unusual - as in almost unprecedented.

Air permit: We understand Zumwalt is in the process of filing a new air permit application using the proper public notification requirements.

Driveway permit: Zumwalt still has not submitted plans to TXDot for the improvements needed to the state highway.

While we are very encouraged by the developments on the water permit, the three Commissioners who have the final say are political appointees (all by Gov Rick Perry) and are pro business. We are hoping for a favorable ruling but know they could ignore the recommendations of their own agency and let the permit stand.

Meanwhile, Zumwalt is using his approved water pollution permit to begin construction of roads, berms, and other site work. The water pollution permit allows him to do almost anything other than set-up and operate a rock crusher and crushed limestone gravel is what he wants to produce from the site. We hope a favorable ruling by the Commissioners, due by May 5, will put a stop to his activities, at least for a few months while we pursue other ways to prevent the quarry to go into operation.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:23 PM   #59
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If anyone is still following this thread you need to get a life here is an update:

Water permit: The TCEQ Commissioners voted unanimously today to approve our Motion for Reconsideration thus overturning the water pollution abatement plan approved by their agency in February. This will require Zumwalt to effectively begin the approval process over again and address both the technical issues we raised in our motion and open the door for the City of San Antonio to have input on his proposed plan. This will delay his application process for a number of months.

We understand the actions taken by the Commissioners today is uncommon and we are very pleased they agreed to overturn the permit.

Air permit: Zumwalt has filed again for an air permit, having started over again from square one since his first application was denied. Once he publishes public notice of the application we will again ask the public to inform the state of their opposition to granting the permit.

Driveway permit: Zumwalt still has not submitted plans to TXDot for the improvements needed to the state highway.

Scorecard: Two permits applied for, zero permits awarded.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:46 PM   #60
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I must need to get a life because I was wondering just a few days ago how your fight againt the evil empire was going. Glad to see you are having some successes!
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