Cemex filed a last-minute appeal of last month’s decision by the federal government to cancel the company’s mining contracts in Soledad Canyon.
Back on Aug. 28, Bureau of Land Management officials delivered documents to a representative of Cemex Corp., terminating the Mexican mining conglomerate’s two 10-year contracts to extract sand and gravel from Soledad Canyon.
Cemex has filed a notice of appeal and sought a stay of the recent BLM decision and will “vigorously pursue all of its rights with respect to the project, including a reversal of this improper decision,” said Sara Engdahl, Cemex’s director of communications, in an email.
The formal document, referred to as “a decision” by the BLM, terminates Cemex’s contracts which were issued in 2000, according to the Record of Decision, or ROD, officials said. Cemex is the third corporation to own the contracts; the two others were Southdown and Transit Mixed Concrete.
“Cemex is disappointed with BLM’s arbitrary actions regarding Cemex’s contractual rights in the Soledad Canyon site, particularly in light of the considerable time, energy and expense Cemex has invested working with the many interested parties to find a path forward acceptable to all,” said Engdahl.
The federally-issued contracts called for the mining of 56 million tons of sand and gravel from Soledad Canyon that would have added up to 1,164 truck trips a day to local roads and freeways, as well as causing air quality issues and potential negative impacts to fish, wildlife and plants in the area.
“The Soledad Canyon site contains high-quality aggregate reserves that will play a critical role in supplying a region with intensive and growing aggregate demand, while avoiding the environmental impacts from long distance transportation of aggregates to the region identified by the California Department of Conservation,” said Engdahl.
If the project is approved, residents could be impacted by “excavation activities going on 17 hours per day, six days per week. Processing (would have been) scheduled to take place 16 hours a day and shipping activities (were) expected to take place 24 hours a day,” according to a statement from city officials, in a previous interview.
“Our job is to bring resolution to the issue, and we’re strongly looking to continue our effort to bring this to conclusion and to not have mining in Santa Clarita,” Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Laurene Weste said, in a previous interview.
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