I became a “TMRA representative” for Morrison Knudsen (MK) during the mid-1980’s as both a support member and an operator member. When MK left Texas in 1998, I became an Individual Member representing my environmental consulting business and from a different prospective, the needs of my Texas clients. Deciding not to join TMRA was not and is not an option if you are actually participating in the mining industry in Texas. During the years I represented MK, I learned the value of TMRA, not just for “marketing” as many companies justify membership, but as a forum important for promoting and protecting our industry, as well as an important communication tool among members of the industry and between members of the industry and outside entities.
I believe TMRA serves an important role where synergy between companies can be utilized to solve challenges created in the regulatory environment. TMRA serves as a platform where issues of the day can be shared and discussed with strategies developed to address potential solutions. More importantly, TMRA serves as a conduit for communication; not just internally and with regulators, but also with lawmakers, to ensure the right people are properly educated on issues important to the mining industry.
My first experience with TMRA was from a unique position of being part of an engineering/environmental (consulting) office that also represented two working coal mines. From my perspective and with my unique background, I understand the values of planning and executing the mining processes, as well as the day to day challenges. Through permitting experiences with hard rock mines (in Texas and other states) I have extensive experiences with regulations and regulators. With an advanced degree in Wildlife Biology and being a Certified Wildlife Biologist, I have spent my career working with natural resource issues, particularly endangered species, wetlands and native landscape reclamation. Mine permitting in Texas is complex and extends beyond just obtaining permits. While dealing regularly with the Railroad Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, I have also dealt with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, local county governments, the General Land Office and even the U.S. Coast Guard. Serving as Permitting Coordinator, I assist my clients in managing these complex issues, foreseeing the pitfalls, and planning the proper paths to meet operational timeframes. Being a TMRA member is critical for staying abreast of the changing landscape the mining industry deals with, and assisting my Clients with navigating that landscape.
We cannot minimize the importance of TMRA to mining. TMRA is an important tool and a critical component of the Mining Industry of Texas.
Glenn Norton is a sole proprietor and owner/operator of CNG Environmental, based in Lytle, Texas outside of San Antonio.