Comments to close on landfill project
By LPR Staff
According to the rules set forward by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the clock is ticking on public commentary regarding a proposed landfill project in Caldwell County.
A public meeting, set for Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, at 7 p.m., has been set as a function of the Texas Admini
strative Code, for TCEQ to hear additional public input regarding the proposed municipal waste facility attached to the 130 Environmental Park.
TCEQ literature suggests Thursday’s public meeting will be the closing of the “public comment period” following the technical review of Green Group Holdings’s application for a solid waste permit. According to a decision issued on Nov. 12, the application was deemed technically complete, moving the process forward to a draft permit, and the TCEQ Notice of Application and Preliminary Decision (NAPD).
The period following the NAPD gives the public additional time to comment on the application; the time period spans no less than 30 days, and lapses at the end of the scheduled public meeting, in this case, on Jan. 8, 2015.
After the comment period closes, the Executive Director of TCEQ will have a final opportunity to respond to provide a written response to the relevant comments submitted during the commenting period, which will open the door to the final 30-day period
allowing interested parties to file for a contested case hearing.
As of press time, more than 300 comments had been added to the TCEQ database regarding the application for the 130 Environmental Park, including written and oral comments from a June 12 public meeting, as well as dozens of requests to be added to the mailing list, requesting official notice of any activity on the application. Among those comments are letters of support, as well as letters of opposition, and several requests for a contested case hearing, the next step in administrative review of the application.
Several of those requests have been filed multiple times by the same requester, including one couple that owns property in the area surrounding the proposed landfill that has contracted an Austin law firm to assist in their opposition to the landfill project.
A contested case hearing is a civil proceeding similar to a civil trial, conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). An administrative judge presides over the hearing, and will consider both sworn testimony and exhibits.
Because contested case hearings have already been contested, Green Group officials expect that the application process will continue to move forward toward a case hearing, holding up the final permit for the facility for a yet-unknown period of time.
Comments are currently being accepted by TCEQ, either via US Mail at PO Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087, or online at www.tceq.state.tx.us. Commenters should reference permit application number 2383. Additionally, comments will be accepted at the public meeting scheduled on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, at 7 p.m. at the Lockhart Junior High School Cafetorium at 500 City Line Rd., in Lockhart.
Follow additional developments regarding the TCEQ permitting process for the 130 Environmental Park at www.post-register.com.