Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The Beckmann Quarry, which began operations in 1930’s, is located just north of 1604 across from the City of Shavano Park and is owned by Martin Marietta (Martin). The quarry will renew mining operations on the west side of NW Military Highway starting in June 2015. Many residents will notice the operations when they conduct a blast because they will be closer in proximity. While the quarry has previously conducted occasional blasting operations in this area, they will become more frequent. The reason for the change in operations is that they have completed mining on the east side of N.W. Military Highway and will resume mining on their remaining property which has Quarry Development zoning.
Martin’s Regional Vice President / General Manager Central Texas District has reached out to the City leaders a number of times to explain their approach and the many mitigating measures that they have and will continue to take in order to minimize the effects of the operation. I’ve also met with an independent seismic monitoring firm in order to understand how the effects of the blasts are monitored and then reported. The amount of information I’ve learned is too much for this article, but a couple key points.
- It is likely that many residents on the north side of town will feel occasional blasts.
- Vibrations, which are easily controlled by the charge amounts and newer technology employed at Beckmann, will be at very low levels as guaranteed by Martin. These operating levels are several times lower than even non-damaging thresholds designated by the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
- Mostly, what some residents will feel is the overpressure from sound.
- Quote from their briefing: “Martin Marietta will conduct blasting at safe levels that will NEVER result in damage to any home or structure.”
- Information on operations and blasting scheduling can be found at www.beckmann.com
- Additional monitors will be installed in order to effectively monitor the vibration and overpressure levels and these results will be shared with the City and residents.
I and several others (Manager of 3 HOAs, several citizens and businesses) will meet with Martin on a quarterly basis in order to keep track and to keep you informed. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns feel free to call or email me!
Here to Serve!