What is a concrete batch plant?
A concrete batch plant is not a cement kiln. People often confuse one for the other.
A concrete batch plant adds measured amounts of sand, cement, and gravel to a large mixing drum to prepare concrete mix. This mix is much like the bagged concrete you can buy at any home improvement store.
There are two types of authorizations for a concrete batch plant:
We receive the most questions about smaller plants authorized under the Concrete Batch Plant Standard Permit. For these plants, the concrete mix is usually fed with water into a concrete truck. The truck finishes mixing the wet concrete on its way to a construction site.
These plants have:
- One or more silos to hold the cement—and sometimes a silo for cement supplement, too.
- A large drum raised high in the air. These drums usually look like a big square funnel on stilts, high enough for a concrete truck to park beneath it.
- Piles of sand and gravel.
- Conveyors to feed the cement, sand, and gravel to their silos or to the mixing drum.
- Roads on the property for the concrete trucks—and for the trucks that deliver the sand, gravel, and cement, too.
The silos are the tallest part—sometimes as tall as 40 feet.
With the roads, structures, and piles of sand and gravel, the whole plant would fit on about five residential lots. But this size can vary.
What will this permit do?
The cement used in a concrete batch plant is naturally dusty. When the raw materials are delivered and when they are mixed, there is a chance that dust emissions can occur on site or potentially leave the property. To limit this, we developed specific requirements for concrete batch plants to follow under the Concrete Batch Plant Standard Permit.
Whenever there is dust, we are also concerned about very small forms of dust—particles small enough to get past our body’s protections and into our airways and lungs. Even though very little of the dust from cement is that small, the measures called for by the Concrete Batch Plant Standard Permit also prevent this smaller dust from blowing off the property.
The Standard Permit requires the plant operators to control dust these ways:
- Keep the cement in completely enclosed silos.
- Keep the mixing equipment, stockpiles, and silos away from the property lines.
- Add cartridge or bag filters to the silos, so the air that is pushed out when they are filled doesn’t carry dust with it.
- Enclose the cement conveyor belts, so dust doesn’t blow away as the cement is moved to the silos or mixing drum.
- Use filters called baghouses where the concrete is mixed and where it is dropped into the trucks. Like large vacuum cleaners, these filters suck the dust out of the air before it can blow away.
- Spray down the plant roads and stockpiles.
- Take other measures when needed to minimize dust from other sources.
By obtaining this permit, the owners and operators of the concrete batch plant agree to follow its requirements. View more information on the Concrete Batch Plant Standard Permit.
Concrete batch plants might be noisy or increase traffic. We do not have jurisdiction to consider these issues when approving a permit. If you are concerned about these issues, contact your city, county, or other local authority. View more information on other situations where our jurisdiction is limited.
Who is applying?
When you see a public notice in a newspaper about a permit application, look at the first paragraph to find the name of the applicant. You may also find information on a sign posted at the proposed location.
If you do not see the notice published in a newspaper, you can find public notices on our website:
What else can I learn about the applicant?
You can learn about this applicant and their plans by contacting them directly. The last paragraph in the public notice will tell you how to contact the applicant.
We also have ways you can learn about this applicant's history with us — for example:
- Other facilities they have permits for
- Other businesses they are related to
- Their environmental track record, which we call their compliance history.
How can I learn what other people think about this?
On our website you can search for information about comments others have made about this application. Under Step Three be sure to choose "Include all correspondence...".
What if I have more questions?
Our Public Education Program can help you find the status of applications and tell you more about our permitting processes.
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Types of Applications and Public Notices
We receive two types of applications for this Standard Permit:
- Application for a New Permit - requesting to construct a new concrete batch plant.
After we receive the application, we conduct an administrative and technical review. Once we complete these reviews, we mail a single public notice called the Consolidated Notice of Receipt of Application and Intent to Obtain Permit and Notice of Application and Preliminary Decision to the applicant for publishing in a newspaper of general circulation.
- Application to Renew a Permit - requesting to renew a permit for an existing concrete batch plant.
After we receive the application, we conduct an administrative review; once complete, we mail a public notice called the Notice of Receipt of Application and Intent to Obtain Permit to the applicant for publishing in a newspaper. Next we conduct a technical review.
Participation Options in Public Notices
If you would like to participate in the permitting process for either of these types of applications, please read its public notice to see how and when you can participate. To view the notice online, visit the Commissioners’ Integrated Database. You can participate by choosing to:
- Submit a Comment - state any issues regarding the pending application.
Make sure we receive your comment during the “comment period” — the time period (mentioned in the public notice) for submitting comments. If you submit a comment during this period, you will receive our “Response to Comments” document which contains responses to all timely comments.
- Sign up for a Mailing List - receive future public notices.
Persons who submit a comment, request a public meeting, or request a contested case hearing are automatically placed on the application’s mailing list — a list of people that will receive any future information for that application until it is approved or denied.
There are also two other mailing lists, the permit’s permanent mailing list (to receive future public notices for all applications for that permit) and the county-wide list (to receive future public notices for all air, waste, and water applications for that county). To sign up for one of these lists, send a written request to the Office of the Chief Clerk. Make sure to include your name, mailing address, and either the permit number (for the permit’s permanent mailing list) or the county’s name (for the county-wide list). There is no deadline, so you can make this request at any time.
- Request a Public Meeting - request that our staff and the applicant meet with the public to answer questions, followed by a formal session where we accept oral comments.
We will have a public meeting if there is significant interest in an application (e.g., a significant amount of comments that say “I request a public meeting”), or if a legislator who represents the area where the facility is, or will be, located makes a request for a public meeting. If we hold a public meeting on a date that’s after the end of the comment period, then the comment period automatically extends to the end of the meeting.
- Request a Contested Case Hearing - request that our commission refer one or more matters raised during the comment period to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).
Your request must comply with all of the requirements listed in the public notice, and we must receive it by the specified deadline. If your request complies, the commission will discuss it during a Commissioners’ Agenda and either grant or deny your request. If granted, SOAH will conduct the contested case hearing in a manner similar to civil trials in state district court. View more information about requesting a contested case hearing.
You can use eComments to submit a comment, request a public meeting, or request a contested case hearing. Other submission options are available — visit the eComments page for a list of these other options.
Additional Participation Options
After the participation deadlines in the public notice expire, you might still be able to participate. You can find available participation options by viewing the letters for that application in the Commissioners’ Integrated Database. Each option will have a set of requirements and a deadline listed in the letter.
- Request a Contested Case Hearing – see the same bullet above for more information on this option.
The letter enclosed with the Response to Comments (known as the “Decision of the Executive Director”) may contain this option. Your request must comply with all of the requirements listed in the letter, and we must receive it by the specified deadline.
- Request for Reconsideration – request that our commission reconsider the executive director’s decision on the application.
The “Decision of the Executive Director” letter may contain this option. Unlike requesting a contested case hearing, you do not need to prove that you are an affected person (i.e., anyone can file this type of request). View more information on a request for reconsideration.
- Motion to Overturn – request that our commission overturn the executive director’s approval of an application.
This option is available if the executive director approves an application without the commission needing to review it (i.e., no one timely requested a contested case hearing or a reconsideration). You will find this option’s requirements and deadline in the letter enclosed with the new/renewed permit. View more information on a motion to overturn.
- Motion for Rehearing – request that our commission review its approval on an application.
This option is available for applications that go to the commission and are then approved. You will find this option’s requirements and deadline in the letter enclosed with the new/renewed permit. View more information on a motion for rehearing.
If you have exhausted all of your participation options with us, you have the option to submit a Petition for Judicial Review with the Travis County district court. Note that the deadline for submitting a petition may overlap with other participation options above.
Our staff with the Public Education Program can help answer any of your questions regarding your participation options. You can contact them by phone at (800) 687-4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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