[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
82°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]


Commentary by Andrew G. Fried
| Monday, Apr 20, 2015
Andrew G. Fried

Andrew G. Fried

The game has changed when it comes to the dispute over whether Cemex will proceed with its plan to mine 56 million tons of aggregate from a site in Soledad Canyon just outside of Santa Clarita city limits.

That much, at least, has been assured by the dueling letters between Cemex and the Bureau of Land Management.

For the better part of two decades, local observers — including our organization, Safe Action for the Environment Inc. (SAFE) — have viewed the BLM and Cemex as being “simpatico” on the issue. Cemex possesses contracts that, once acted upon, allow for the development of a massive sand and gravel mine that would cause severe impacts on traffic, wildlife, air quality and a myriad of other environmental and quality-of-life issues.

The BLM, for its part, has been perfectly fine with that — as evidenced by the BLM’s support of the mine and opposition to legislative attempts to cancel the contracts.

But, with its letter last month to Cemex, in which the BLM hinted the contracts could be canceled because of what the BLM describes as inaction by Cemex, the BLM has triggered a fairly heated legal squabble with the Mexican multinational mining giant.

Cemex responded with a letter of its own — signed by an executive but clearly written with legal posturing in mind — taking issue with the BLM’s assertions and vowing to protect the company’s interests in Soledad Canyon.

For the past decade, and especially over the past seven years, the issue has focused on legislative attempts to cancel the mining contracts. For its part, Cemex struck a truce with the city of Santa Clarita, which opposes the mine, to allow time for a mutually agreeable legislative solution to be found.

The city-owned property where Cemex has federal mining rights.

The city-owned property where Cemex has federal mining rights.

While we at SAFE continue to oppose the mine, and we’d oppose any “solution” that allows the mine to go forward, we also believe it should be taken into account that Cemex has attempted in good faith to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the city and the community. During the “truce” between Cemex and the city, both sides have worked together to craft a legislative solution that preserves local quality of life while also compensating Cemex for the cancellation of the contracts.

They’ve nearly succeeded, and the work continues.

The BLM, during the city-Cemex truce, has dug in its heels and worked behind the scenes to block the attempts at a legislative solution. After all, two 10-year mining contracts could be just the beginning of a decades-long revenue stream for the BLM.

Now, with the apparent 180-degree turn the BLM has taken, the game has changed. The BLM is now in the position of having to negotiate with Cemex. No longer are the mining company and the BLM “simpatico.” Now, the BLM needs to be a player in reaching a solution that’s agreeable to all stakeholders.

How will this change the way the issue plays out? That remains to be seen, but what’s clear is that the BLM’s new position has altered the landscape, and in the process the BLM has brought some interesting questions to the forefront, including, among them, the question of whether the environmental studies performed for the planned mine are still valid after sitting on the shelf for nearly two decades.

As the BLM pointed out, much has changed in the intervening years, and since Cemex still needs to pursue and obtain entitlements from local, regional and state agencies, such issues could weigh on the outcome — or at least force Cemex to re-perform some aspects of the studies with an eye toward current environmental circumstances and standards.

In the months ahead, we at SAFE plan to break down some of those issues and share our views on them with the community. We hope this precipitates a renewed discussion among the public, who would be significantly affected by the mega-mine next door. We hope the community becomes increasingly aware of the fact that the mine is, by no means, a done deal.

The BLM and Cemex letters certainly demonstrate that.

 

Andrew Fried is president of Safe Action for the Environment Inc. For more information about SAFE and efforts to save Soledad Canyon, visit www.Safe4Environment.org.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

4 Comments

  1. msc545 says:

    I am trying to figure out why you wrote this. The reversal of position by the BLM is a good thing in that it reduces the chances of Cemex ever being able to mine in the SCV. Anything that works toward that end, including your own efforts, is a good thing. I have no sympathy whatsoever for any financial problems that Cemex might experience – they are destroyers of the environment.

    • Eric Walser says:

      msc545, do you live in a home? do you drive on a street? ever attended a school or been inside of a building? those were all made with sand and gravel. Unless you live in a hermit’s cave, you can accuse CEMEX of being a “destroyer” of the environment, but you don’t get to pretend you’re not a hypocrite.

  2. nadiya says:

    Can NARF or the local CA Indian Community make demands that the BLM land not be used for these purposes?

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Sunday, Sep 24, 2017
It has been a year since Energy Transfer Partners bulldozed the sacred burial grounds just beyond the borders of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to clear a path for the Dakota Access Pipeline – and about 10 months since I hightailed it over there. I want my friends to know what I know, and I want to be able to look back and remember some details before time wipes them away.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
Now that the formerly great state of California is a sanctuary, I’ve got to compare that action with the actions in the early 1860s of the Confederate States of America. They decided what laws they wanted to follow and what ones they didn’t.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
Hans' family did not know too much about his childhood or the country he had grown up in. About all the family knew was that Hans and his wife were born in Germany but had lived in this small Minnesota town for the last 60 years or more.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
There is a common insect that most people are not aware of because you never see it. It is mostly active underground. However, if you know what you are looking for, its traps are in many places and are very obvious.
Saturday, Sep 16, 2017
While not perfect, SB 54 kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking. It also retains the controlled access that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to our jails.
Thursday, Sep 7, 2017
Local residents have the right to record things their congressional leaders and legislative staff members say to residents of the 25th District and any of Rep. Knight's town hall meetings and legislative decisions.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Valencia High School opened in 1994 with about 350 sophomores and 550 freshmen who would comprise the classes of 1997 and 1998. On Saturday, more than 230 of them attended the first-ever 20-year reunion of Valencia High School alumni.
Original Vikings Meet Up for Valencia High’s ‘First 20th’
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a 21 year old man was arrested as a suspect in a Valencia murder. Plus, see how this year's River Rally went. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, September 25, 2017
Young hockey players ages 13 to 16 from two Valencia Flyers travel teams participated in neuro-cognitive baseline assessments provided free by Providence Health & Services and its affiliate, Facey Medical Group.
Providence Provides Free Concussion Assessments for Youth Hockey Players
A proposal to transfer ownership of the Santa Clarita Emergency Winter Shelter from the city of Santa Clarita to non-profit organization Bridge to Home is among the items on the agenda for the City Council's regular meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
City Council May OK Year-Round Homeless Shelter
Valencia-based non-profit organization SNAP Sports will host a wine tasting event at Salt Creek Grille to benefit its special-needs sports program and the Valencia SNAP Flyers hockey team on Thursday, Oct. 5 starting at 6 p.m.
Oct. 5: Fundraiser at Salt Creek for SNAP Sports, Valencia SNAP Flyers
CSUN has built a “village” — spearheaded by the Office of Student Success Innovations — to tap into a wide pool of campus talent to find creative ways to help students succeed.
CSUN Creates a ‘Village’ to Support Student Success
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released public safety and crime prevention information for Newhall (Zone 6) for 09/11/17 to 09/17/17.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Domestic Violence in Newhall
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has signed 19 bills and vetoed one passed by the Assembly and the Senate in their recently completed legislative sessions.
Gov. Brown Signs 19 Bills, Vetoes 1
CSUN will continue to enforce existing guidelines regarding sexual misconduct even as the U.S. Department of Education withdraws its guidelines for revision, Chancellor Timothy P. White told students in a letter.
CSUN Chancellor: No Changes Now in Sexual Misconduct Rules
The Master’s University Lady Mustangs volleyball team lost 3-1 to William Jessup in Rocklin on Saturday.
Mustangs Women’s Volleyball Team Trips Up in Rocklin
The TMU Mustangs men's soccer team pulled away from visiting William Jessup for a 4-1 victory on Reese Field on Saturday.
Tembo Tricks Jessup in TMU Men’s Soccer Win
Los Angeles County’s fight against homelessness reaches a key milestone on Tuesday, September 26, as the Measure H Citizens’ Oversight Advisory Board holds its inaugural meeting from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sept. 26: First Meeting of Measure H Citizens’ Oversight Board
The Master’s University soccer team’s 2-1 victory over William Jessup University Saturday came with less than 20 seconds to play in overtime at Reese Field.
Master’s Women’s Soccer Players Use OT to Avoid Upset
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost 3-0 at Menlo College by scores of 25-15, 25-22 and 25-23 Friday night.
Mustangs Volleyball Team Hits Road Bump at Menlo College
The No. 6 Cougars closed out the College of the Canyons Tri-Tourney by dropping a tough four-set decision to No. 18 Mira Costa Friday.
No. 6 Canyons Volleyball Team Clipped by No. 18 Spartans
No. 6-ranked College of the Canyons Cougars volleyball team rolled to a straight-set win over visiting Ventura College in the opening match of the COC Tri-Tourney Friday.
No. 6 Cougars Sweep Ventura to Open Canyons Tri-Tourney
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan will deliver the keynote address at California State University, Los Angeles for National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 26.
L.A. County Registrar to Give Keynote Speech on National Voter Registration Day
This fall, artist and CalArts alum Rubén Ortiz-Torres (Art MFA 92) participates in two exhibitions as part of "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA," the Getty’s collaborative exploration of Latin American and Latino art.
Rubén Ortiz-Torres to Present Two Shows as Part of ‘Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA’
CalArts faculty and choreographer Rosanna Gamson of Rosanna Gamson/World Wide serves as the Creative Producer and Dramaturge of "Daedalus' Daughter," a new dance theater piece created by writer-director-performer Carol Katz.
Sept. 28-30: ‘Deadalus’ Daughter’ Keeps Dancing at Bootleg Theater
CalArts will kick off the 2017-2018 season of its acclaimed Wild Beast Concert Series with a free, outdoor performance by two large experimental jazz bands, The Daniel Rosenboom Octet and theBABAOrchestra, on Saturday night, Oct. 14.
Oct. 14: 21st Century Jazz Kicks Off CalArts’ 2017 Wild Beast Concerts
The Valencia High School Vikings football team pummeled the Bakersfield High School Drillers 56-14 at Valencia Friday night.
Valencia Vikings Pummel Bakersfield Drillers 56-14
A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of an unidentified man whose body was found in the 23600 block of Via Valer in Valencia Sunday afternoon.
Man Booked for Murder in Santa Clarita
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department pursued three men suspected of robbing a pair of MetroPCS stores into Newhall Friday night, according to officials.
Armed Robbery Suspects Arrested After Pursuit Ends in Newhall
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has joined New York and 11 other states in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court to protect voters from having their names unlawfully removed from lists of registered voters.
California Joins Fight in U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Voters’ Rights
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
It has been a year since Energy Transfer Partners bulldozed the sacred burial grounds just beyond the borders of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to clear a path for the Dakota Access Pipeline – and about 10 months since I hightailed it over there. I want my friends to know what I know, and I want to be able to look back and remember some details before time wipes them away.
Standing Rock: Why I Went | Commentary by Leon Worden
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]
1948 - Agua Dulce Women's Club organized [timeline]
The governing boards of College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union School District are scheduled to discuss plans for a new Academy of the Canyons-style campus at the future Castaic High School when they sit down for their annual joint meeting Sept. 27.
COC, Hart Planning ‘North Academy’ at Castaic High School
The League of California Cities, with representatives from cities statewide including Santa Clarita, is calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto SB 649, which if enacted would allow the wireless industry to install new 5G equipment with little input from local jurisdictions.
League of California Cities Urges Governor to Veto 5G Wireless Equipment Bill
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an off-duty LAPD officer and Canyon Country resident, died Thursday evening after a collision in Porter Ranch. Plus, check out all the exciting events happening this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, September 22, 2017
The new pedestrian bridge crossing McBean Parkway is expected to be open in time for weekend foot traffic.
New Pedestrian Bridge on McBean Parkway Set to Reopen
The Child and Family Center will begin providing outpatient substance use treatment services for adolescents and young adults with primary substance use disorders under the California Drug MediCal Program starting Tuesday, October 3.
Oct. 3: Child and Family Center Begins Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center will host a caregivers' workshop at the Senior Center in Newhall on Saturday, September 30 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sept. 30: COC, Senior Center Host Caregiver Workshop
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is strongly opposing the proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation, saying it would undermine the well-being of the county’s most vulnerable populations and burden taxpayers with heavier costs for years to come.
Supes Say Graham-Cassidy Bill Threatens Health of Millions of LA County Residents
The intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Bouquet Canyon Road will be under construction from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday night, September 29 and Saturday morning, September 30.
Sept. 29-30: Soledad and Bouquet Canyon Repaving