PLEASE HELP SAVE RANCHES, WATER, WILDLIFE, PROPERTY VALUES, AND LIVES ON HWY 71
Citizen participation is encouraged at the hearing regarding the proposed Sandy Creek Sand Crushing Plant off Highway 71 near the City of Sunrise Beach.
Wear your Save Sandy Creek t-shirts, come with calm and reasoned arguments, and be respectful and courteous. If you attended the recent informational meeting about the Spicewood permit, please don't be discouraged. The format of this hearing is expected to be more interactive. The biggest difference between the Spicewood application and the Collier application is that the Collier application carries the opportunity for a contested case hearing. That difference dictates the format of the Collier public meeting. Please note the location has changed several times but is now confirmed in Llano.
TCEQ's format for the hearing:
Part 1 – Introductions and Presentations.
Panel members will explain who they are and what is their role in the process.
Part 2 – Informal Discussion Period.
Members of the public can ask questions related to (i.e. legally relevant) to the application, and the applicant or TCEQ staff will attempt to provide an answer.
Part 3 – Formal Comment Period.
Members of the public will be called up in the order in which they signed in, and will be given the opportunity to provide comments for the record that they want TCEQ staff to consider before making any final decisions on the application. No response will be provided by the panel, rather the comments submitted will be combined with all the written comments timely received and considered by TCEQ staff as they complete their review.
For those persons who submit a request for a contested case hearing, they must provide comments during the comment period for the application that forms the basis of their hearing request to demonstrate they are an affected person under the law. Comments received during the comment period also form the relevant issues that may be considered at any contested hearing that takes place. So if you want an issue to be part of the potential contested hearing, then you need to raise those issues during the comment period.
A major tributary to the Llano River and Lake LBJ, Sandy Creek is unmistakable if you drive Highway 71 to Sunrise Beach, Llano, or Enchanted Rock from the East, or Horseshoe Bay, Marble Falls, and beyond from the West. A very wide, pristine sandy creek, often dotted with cattle or wildlife, it's crossed by a long stretch of two-lane bridge with a highway sign bearing its name. Its waters are among the purest in the Hill Country, and it bears some of the oldest exposed stone in North America. Sandy Creek meant everything to the Native Americans, to the early settlers, and now to the folks who live along it today, many of whom can trace multiple generations of ownership.
Generations of ranchers have relied upon Sandy Creek for water to maintain cattle and homesteads. Homeowners throughout the area--seasonal, weekend and full-time--know this will destroy property values and impact their quality of life. Hunters and bird-watchers will see declining populations as the water disappears. The tourism industry will suffer. Finally, the potential for serious accidents will rise dramatically due to the projected 40-plus fully-loaded (and 40-plus empty) tractor-trailer trips per day on Highway 71. (Note that the application as presented to the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality allows for many more truck trips than current projections.)
We are an organization of ranchers, neighbors, hunters, friends, and fans of Sandy Creek--and users of Highway 71--who are deeply concerned about the damage that our water reserves, highways, tourism industry, businesses, ecosystem and lifestyle will suffer if the proposed Collier Materials sand and rock crushing plant is put into operation in Sandy Creek. We pledge to do everything we can legally and ethically to stop this project before it starts.
In an effort to educate the public and inform discussion on the impact of the proposed Sandy Creek Sand Crushing Plant off Highway 71 near the City of Sunrise Beach, the Hill County Alliance is holding a Healthy Creeks and Riparian Areas Workshop. "Riparian areas" are the edges of a river or stream.
Saturday, Nov. 3
8:30 am to 2 pm
Sunrise Beach Civic Center
124 Sunrise Drive, Sunrise Beach Village, in Llano County
Speakers are Steve Nelle, a retired engineer who is recognized as a state expert on Riparian Areas; Kenneth Mayben, a hydrologist engineer who retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and David Riley, a biologist with Plateau Land & Wildlife Management.
If you live along a creek, river, or lake, this workshop is for you!
Participants will learn the basic interaction of Hydrology – Erosion/Deposition and Vegetation for Central Texas creeks and rivers. Among topics to be covered are channels, floodplains, water table, vegetation, base flow, flood flow, sediment and how these things in combination are what make up the riparian area. Local examples from Sandy Creek and elsewhere will be used to promote understanding of the health of creeks and rivers.
The workshop will begin promptly at 8:30 am, so plan to arrive in plenty of time to find the building, park and be ready to start on time.
Space is limited. Registration is $10 and includes lunch. To register, please go to the Hill Country Alliance website
This workshop is provided by the Hill Country Alliance, Plateau Land and Wildlife Management, and the Llano River Watershed Alliance.
The photograph to the left is a combination of two photographs from Google Earth Pro. The two photos are of the exact same scale. The photo of the FM 1980 Collier Sand Works shows what is believed to be a similar operation as to what is proposed in Sandy Creek, although the applications submitted for the work to date do not give precise information as to size of the operation. Later applications may specify with more accuracy but for now this is the best information available. IF later applications are filed with more equipment this composite will be changed to reflect that.
The photograph above does not show the size of the sand mining that will occur in the creek itself or the large mining or truck equipment needed to remove the sand. Steve Nash does not have a lease with any of the land owners adjacent to the location of the mine. Trucks will have to traverse the length of the creek shown here to get to Mr. Nash’s land near the Hwy 71 bridge where it can move from the creek to the sand processing equipment.
Additional photographs here show (above) the sand handling equipment that Collier first said would be moved here in the Spring, and (left) the two waste water pits on the Collier site currently along the Llano river.
These photographs were prepared by Larry Black, a lawyer for many of the landowners most affected by the proposed industrialization of Sandy Creek.
The accident described in the article linked here occurred on a portion of Highway 71 that has four lanes and has high visibility. If Collier Materials is allowed to place a plant on the Nash property right before the Sandy Creek bridge, their trucks would be entering a two-lane portion of the highway. They will be coming out of the Nash property by a bridge that allows no ability to safely evade the increased heavy commercial traffic.
We are not talking about a few trucks. Based on Collier Materials' actual quotes of how much sand they want to remove (between 1000 - 1700 tons per day) that would require from 40 and 68 fully loaded 25-ton capacity trucks a day trying to exit the property and then have to go up a sharp hill on a two-lane portion of 71. Another 40 to 68 empty trucks would need to enter the Nash property every day -- thereby doubling the potential for a tragic accident.
Collier Materials proposes an 8-hour day. Eight hours x 60 minutes = 480 minutes. At 40 trucks per day every 6 minutes a truck will be trying to either enter or leave the property. At 68 trucks per day it's every 3.5 minutes per day. The only way to keep this area safe is to defeat the attempt to industrialize Sandy Creek.
Collier Materials is on record as wanting to extract between 1000 and 1700 tons of sand per day, not for just one year or just two years. They have explicitly stated that they want to do it forever, or until they can't make money on it.
This project affects everyone who travels east from Llano, Kingsland or Sunrise Beach to Horseshoe
Bay or Austin. It affects everyone who travels west from Horseshoe Bay, Blue Lake, Deer Haven, The Trails or Sandy Harbor to Llano or Sunrise Beach.
The supporters of the industrialization of Sandy Creek want us to believe that there will be no increase in risk to the public. The truth is in the math.
On Thursday August 16, a presentation by Save Sandy Creek was held at the Sunrise Beach Community Center. The focus of the presentation was to explain how we can work together to assist our neighbors at the mouth of Sandy Creek that need to have sand removed from their waterfront, without the industrialization of Sandy Creek. It was a full house and the audience was engaged. We had numerous elected officials and their representatives in attendance. Several stated that they had gained new information that they were unaware of.
Another image of the August 16 meeting. >
If your organization would like to have representatives from Save Sandy Creek make a presentation at your next meeting, please email us at email@example.com.
On July 30 2018, members of Save Sandy Creek meet with Congressman Mike Conaway at the Congressman's Town Hall meeting at the Llano Library. L-R: Fermin Ortiz, Congressman Mike Conaway, Jennifer Ortiz, Binky Morgan, Patsy Wiley, Henry Tate, Dave Oswald, John Wiley, Winnie Tate-Morgan
On July 31 2018, Fermin Ortiz, representing Save Sandy Creek, met with our State Representative Andrew Murr in the family ranch house. Fermin was pointing out the area that state agencies have a vested interest and responsibility in protecting from flooding. Fermin was explaining that the residents at the mouth of Sandy Creek can be protected without the industrialization of Sandy Creek. Representative Murr was very interested in pursuing a long term solution.
Please take a moment to read this. It is an evaluation by a State Certified Professional Road Engineer regarding the traffic implications and solutions resulting from the proposed industrialization of Sandy Creek.
This letter was submitted to TCEQ by Kingsland attorney Larry Black, who represents several families with properties adjacent to the proposed sand mine.
In a vote held Monday July 9, the Llano County Commissioners Court voted to OFFICIALLY OPPOSE the Collier Materials Plant Proposal.
The City Council of the City of Sunrise Beach Village voted unanimously to OPPOSE the Rock Crusher and Sand & Gravel Plant proposed by Collier Materials Inc. at Sandy Creek in Llano County.
The July 13 edition of the Austin Chronicle features a piece on Save Sandy Creek!
The Texas Observer posted this story on July 18!
Even if you have previously submitted a comment in opposition or have signed a petition, treat this like a RESTART BUTTON. We do not want the TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY to think opposition has gone away. Please get back on the TCEQ website, enter PERMIT NUMBER 152092L001, and state that you are "OPPOSED TO THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF SANDY CREEK." It does not have to be a long or eloquent statement; we just need more numbers to keep fighting for Sandy Creek. Please do it NOW while you are thinking of it! Thank you!!
There are so many ways to support our mission.
Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, and ways to get our message to your friends and family.
P.O. Box 154, Llano, Texas 78643, United States
Thank you so much for your interest and support.
Sign up to hear from us about news, updates, and events.