WilCo survey highlights concerns regarding rock quarries, push for new regulations

A Williamson County survey recently found nearly all of its respondents had some type of negative experience with nearby rock quarries.

According to the group that held this survey, the Coalition for Responsible Environmental Aggregate Mining, Williamson County has more Aggregate Production Operations, or APOs, than anywhere else in the state.

The group said it understands their importance to the area, but they want to see stronger regulations and oversight for residents and quarries to co-exist. 

"Granted, the quarries have the right to make money and to produce their product, but we have the right to a quiet home life, dust-free environment, and not worry about getting killed by some truck when we’re out on 195," said Christina Schwerdtfeger, a retired environmentalist and Williamson County resident. She’s also a CREAM member and helped put together the latest report.

Over three months, CREAM had about 200 people answer a survey about how rock quarries impact their lives.

Out of the 90 percent of people who said they have felt quarry blasts, 44 percent said it has damaged their property.

Another 60 percent said they’ve experienced excessive dust on their property, and more than 50 percent have had damage to their vehicles from trucks transporting materials.

"I had my windshield repaired three times, so I felt as if I experienced some of this directly," said Schwerdtfeger.

Overall, 97% of respondents also said they’ve had some kind of negative experience with rock quarries, whether that’s damage to property or their quality of life. 

"If we can do a better job of having the community weigh in and say this is important to us, then we can actually influence some change in 2025," said Schwerdtfeger.


The next step for CREAM members is to take their findings to legislators and push for laws that would help homeowners and quarries be better neighbors.

"Once we collected the data, we wanted to give it to them and let them know this is what your constituents are thinking and why it’s important," said Michael Span, CREAM’s founder.

In response to a recent community panel discussion, the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association President and CEO, Josh Leftwich, shared the following statement with Rock Products Magazine in March. CREAM included it in its publication about the survey results

"TACA unequivocally condemns the bad actors that fail to respect the communities in which they operate. It is imperative to hold accountable those who don’t play by the rules. TACA has long advocated for increased funding to TCEQ so the agency can effectively investigate and penalize offenders."

TACA sent the following statement.