County and State Do Have Regulatory Authority

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 4, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Re: “Naked City” [News, Jan. 1]: I am unclear why our local media keeps relaying that the county and state have no statutory or regulatory authority to deny the TXI Hornsby Bend Gravel Pit permit application without responding to this misperception. This is a highly inaccurate claim to communicate, as state statute (in any state, including Texas) binds the states and all applicable local governments to federal law requirements and compliance authority actions (be it Environmental Protection Agency, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act (especially), SAFETEA-LU, et al.).
    Numerous district and U.S. Supreme Court rulings have also been upheld in favor of such counties and states to deny such permits on the grounds of public health and safety protections (federal agency and law defined rock, sand, and gravel as air/water pollutants), as well.
    Court rulings have also upheld that a county's denial of such a permit is not determined as zoning regulation (or attempts thereof without such granted authority), but "as an ordinance measure" to protect public health and safety from federally defined pollutants.
    Travis County's own ordinances provide them with such basis to deny on such a measure.
    We have provided the county with numerous, numerous supportive federal, state, and court laws, rules and regulations, and court upheld precedence as evidence, as well, so they are well aware of their legal ability to deny the permit.
    There is financial gain/benefit in approving the permit, not lack of regulatory authority, and this is the only reason for some of them to claim that their hands are tied (until it is for a handout).
Caraly Foreman
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