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Crusher permits stir interest but protect people and the environment

Oct. 25, 2017 -Many members of the public express concern about the potential impacts from rock and concrete crushing plants. The good news is that standard permits for both permanent and temporary rock and concrete crushers, which break down large pieces of concrete and rocks to provide material for pavement and other construction needs, protect public health and the environment when operated correctly.

Many members of the public express concern about the potential impacts from rock and concrete crushing plants.

The good news is that standard permits for both permanent and temporary rock and concrete crushers, which break down large pieces of concrete and rocks to provide material for pavement and other construction needs, protect public health and the environment when operated correctly.

These plants can operate under the standard air permit because, among other things, the output from them is lower. The requirements ensure protectiveness at the property line.

Proposed permits for these operations often draw heavy opposition from citizens who are concerned with the potential health impacts of the facility, traffic and noise in the area, and the effect the facility may have on nearby property values. Although the TCEQ does not regulate traffic, noise, or the effect on property values, the agency does have jurisdiction to develop a standard permit that protects public health.

A few facts about standard permits

Requirements of this standard permit include limiting operation to fewer than 2,640 hours in any 12-month period; placing equipment at least 200 feet from property lines and at least 440 yards from any residence, school, or place of worship; and limiting production to less than 200 tons of material per hour.

When the standard permit was developed, the TCEQ conducted an air quality protectiveness review, demonstrating that the requirements meet state and federal emission standards.

“These permits were developed very conservatively to protect both public health and the environment.” says Beryl Thatcher, a manager in the TCEQ’s Air Permits Division.

Notice requirements

An applicant is required to publish notice and post signs to notify the public of the proposed registration. At that time the public may submit comments to the TCEQ and/or request an informational meeting.

Any comments submitted during the comment period are considered and addressed by the agency.

If an application for the standard permit meets all of the applicable rules and requirements, the TCEQ is required to approve the request within 30 days after the close of the public comment period.

Other rules may apply

An air authorization from the TCEQ is not necessarily the final step an applicant may need for such a plant. Applicants must also comply with other applicable rules and regulations and an air authorization does not supersede local ordinances or zoning requirements.

If an applicant is not able to meet the requirements of the standard permit, they must apply for a case-by-case new source review air quality permit.

The TCEQ is here to help

As long as a facility operates according to the requirements of their permit, public health and the environment are protected. However, no facility can create a nuisance condition.

The TCEQ is always available to anyone who wishes to file an environmental complaint and all complaints are investigated.