Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How Lowes Can You Go?

Tomorrow at 2 pm (or later) the City Council will decide whether to rezone land ON the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone to allow Lowes Home Improvement Store to build a store at 1604 and Bulverde. I am completely supportive of this because I only drink bottled water and like the taste of oil and other run-off in my water.

Here are the facts from GEAA:

Lowes could move the store approximately 1 mile south on Bulverde Road, or approximately ¼ mile southeast on Classen Road to move off the Edwards Recharge Zone.

There is another Lowe’s 5.88 miles away from the proposed location, and another lumber and hardware store that is 5.42 miles away.

In December of 2000, Lowe’s knocked down a 300 year old heritage oak tree to build their store located on Callaghan Road.

Lowe’s has a questionable history of environmental safety:

In 1989 Lowe’s in Baker, Louisiana had a fire that required 18 fire, law enforcement and environmental agencies to get it under control. Environmental experts had to sample the runoff constantly to see if it was contaminated. Environmental Quality officials said the store remains would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.

In Albany, Georgia in 1996 there was a fire that almost completely destroyed the store because oxidizing pool and spa chemicals were stored too close together. The fire fighters found that the sprinklers weren’t capable of extinguishing a fire of that magnitude.

Lowe’s was fined by the EPA in 2003 for $137,000.00 because they violated national water protection standards.

Last year a Travis County court issued an injunction halting construction of a Lowe’s Store in the recharge zone. The court found that Lowe’s gasoline tank was leaking, causing gasoline and other polluted runoff from the construction site to flow directly into a recharge feature, and that if not restrained Lowe’s would pollute the Edwards Aquifer and the community’s drinking water. The recharge feature had not been disclosed by Lowe’s engineers nor initially discovered by the City of Austin inspector.

This land is over the Edwards Recharge Zone. Lowe’s will be storing large amounts of hazardous chemicals.

The Limestone that makes up the Edwards Aquifer is especially susceptible to the hazardous materials that would be stored at the Lowe’s.

The hazardous chemicals that will be stored in this warehouse could have a huge impact on the recharge zone if a spill, fire or explosion were to occur.

Lowe’s uses, sells and stores treated wood outdoors. This wood is injected with arson and pesticides that can become part of the storm water runoff if exposed to rainfall.

Tell your Council Person to vote against the rezoning of land for Lowe's

UPDATE 9/7/05 3:13 PM

I was told that the Lowes item will be reintroduced on the City Council agenda in either two weeks or six months. In the meanwhile, it will not hurt one bit to call and write letters to the Mayor and City Council to let them know that this is important. If you would like Annalisa Peace to come talk to your group she would be delighted. Her contact information is 210-320-6294 or


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