A world rocked – Communities clamor for regulation as Texas mining industry explodes

Homes in Mayfield Ranch, a neighborhood north of Austin, share a fence line with a quarry in Georgetown on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. The quarry, owned by Edwin Brazelton Snead, has been in the area since 1958. Kent Snead, grandson to Edwin and third generation to work at the quarry, noticed homes beginning to approach the the fence line in 2011. “The idea was to quarry (the area) before the houses got in so we didn’t create a disturbance,” Kent said. “We established a relationship with the developer to let buyers know there was a quarry.” While the company continues to quarry away from the homes, the cliff is still an active quarry wall and has rock that is still available to be mined. “The quarry business is not a typical neighbor and so it’s easy to be vilified,” Kent said. [BRONTE WITTPENN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]


According to the KVUE Defender, there were 52 rock mining operations in 2012. Today, there are over 900+ operations, many of them controversial quarries. Williamson County has the most rock mining operations with 34 (the total number of counties in Texas is 254).
“…the growth of quarry and aggregate producing facilities is also spurred on by Texas’ lax regulatory environment. Quarries here generally face no extensive application process. The state hasn’t examined the environmental impact of the proliferating operations, despite mounting concerns from neighbors and the medical community. And Texas has no process to ensure restoration of mined lands in most parts of the state, allowing operators to simply walk away from massive pockmarked properties.”
– Austin American Statesman article (part 1)
Link to a 3 part series featured in the Austin American Statesman
Left in the Dust
KVUE Defender’s three part video series on rock quarries in the area.