The hearing on the proposed Vulcan quarry in Comal County is over, however, one major unanswered question lingers. Vulcan maintains the data in the application submitted is correct.
During discovery, Vulcan refused to provide core sample data of the material they will crush citing it’s a “trade secret.” Residents living adjacent to the proposed site ordered a core sample drilled on their own property — just 30 feet from one of Vulcan’s sampling sites — and was tested by a certified laboratory. During court, the judge admitted this sample data into evidence showing crystalline silica (a carcinogenic contaminant) concentrations five times higher than the sample Vulcan submitted.
This seems to beg more questions, but the most important is if Vulcan is resolute with the core data information in the application being correct, then why didn’t the Vulcan lawyers present that data at the hearing? That would have ended the discussion and the hearing.
A Vulcan employee testified 41 core samples were drilled for economic viability and all but 3 were destroyed. That employee “had a sense” these three core samples would form a “representative” sample of the entire 1,500 acres, which was included in the application submitted to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
My opinion is the data samples Vulcan destroyed showed the same high concentration of crystalline silica as the resident’s sample, which would squash any hopes of Vulcan opening that quarry. And Vulcan’s trying to convince us they’ll be a good neighbor.