EPA approves Bulls on the Beach

March 1, 2014

A bull riding event dubbed Bulls on the Beach, planned as part of this weekend’s Texas Independence Day celebration in Granbury, will be held – with a stamp of approval from the Environmental Protection Agency.

A minor blip of controversy had popped up over poop that will inevitably be deposited by the bulls – and whether it was environmentally safe to stage the event on the Granbury City Beach.

“We had some people voicing concern,” City Manager Wayne McKethan said Tuesday afternoon. “Our health inspector signed off on it. They (the EPA) are the experts and they looked at it and said there was no issue.”

Organizers said that a layer of vinyl, covered by new sand brought in for the event, will line the pen area where the bulls will be held before being ridden in the temporary arena that has been pieced together near the east end of City Beach. The vinyl, along with that top layer of new sand, will be removed after the event, they said.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, members viewed a letter from Linda Smith with EPA’s Region 6 Storm Water Enforcement Office in Dallas. The letter states, in part:

“This is to inform all concerned that as far as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6 is concerned; no environmental hazard or eco system (harm) will be incurred at the Granbury, TX, City beach site due to the sand brought in to level up the beach, or with the livestock being used for the Rodeo at the Texas Independence Day celebration. My understanding is the Rodeo set up is 100 yards from the water, there is a silt fence in place, and the livestock will be penned up. Since this is only a one day event, the EPA sees no problem with the Rodeo set-up. If it were 30 days and 600 head of livestock, we might get concerned. However, since this is not the case, have your Rodeo as planned.”

Terry Clark, the rodeo producer from Springtown who is providing the bulls, said there will be about 20 bulls but that they won’t stay outside their trailers on the sand for long.

Also at the meeting Tuesday, the City Council approved an amendment to the existing city ordinance that bans pets or other animals from the City Beach. The amendment allows for the bulls to be used for Saturday’s event, while maintaining the ban of other animals including pets for spectators or others visiting the City Beach, City Attorney Stuart Neal said.

“In general, it gives the Council the ability to approve a one-time event on the beach with animals,” McKethan explained, noting that the ordinance was amended Tuesday to allow animals in connection with an event approved by the City Council,” but added that, “This does not apply to spectators of the event.”

Section 4 states the potential penalty for violating the ban of animals on the City Beach will be “not more than” $500 for each offense.

The Bulls on the Beach event is scheduled to be 4:30-6:30 p.m. today. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for kids. Those 6 and under get in free.

Bleachers have been set up for the event. There will also be a mutton busting event from 1-2:30 for children 55 pounds and less. For larger children, there will be a calf scramble during breaks in the bull riding.

A chuck wagon cook-off (10 a.m. start) will also be held on the beach today, in addition to a multitude of other events and activities on the downtown square and other locations.

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