Dripping Springs opposes concrete plant

Citing major concerns over public health and safety, Dripping Springs city leaders Aug. 21 passed a resolution in opposition to the construction of a proposed concrete batch plant near Henly.

The move, which was the result of a 5-1 Dripping Springs City Council vote, came after residents voiced their concerns during the Aug. 14 meeting. Dripping Springs City Council member Travis Crow cast the lone dissenting vote.

Approving the resolution was one initiative Dripping Springs city leaders were able to take on the proposed plant, which is to be located in the 4900 block of west Highway 290. The city is limited in how it can regulate the facility, owned by Lauren Concrete, Inc., as it is located beyond Dripping Springs extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

“The City Council is concerned about the suggested location of the proposed Concrete Batch Plant in terms of its compatibility with surrounding uses, consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, future annexation plans and suitability for the purpose identified,” according to language in the resolution.

Additionally, the Dripping Springs City Council was concerned about a potential risk to water quality, air quality and light pollution.

Tim Cooper, a resident near the location of the proposed plant, thanked the council for its support. He said concerns over the proposed batch plant has brought the community together within the past two weeks.

“That’s how fast this has come along. We have around 900 signatures on our petition. We thank you for the support even though your hands are tied,” Cooper said.

Lauren Concrete Inc. applied for a permit through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that could authorize construction of the plant. TCEQ is scheduled to have a public hearing on the permit in September.

Mayor Todd Purcell said he wants the community to stay vigilant and vocal against the concrete plant.

“In order for Lauren Concrete and TCEQ to feel pressure, you need to show up to these meetings and let your presence be known,” Purcell said. “As you know, we are limited with what we can do outside of our ETJ, but we are in support of what you are doing.”

If enough opposition is vocalized to TCEQ, there could be contested case hearing through the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) over the proposed concrete plant.

According to the resolution, the Dripping Springs city council also requested the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) conduct a public hearing on the proposed plant.

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