header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 16
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Newhall Community Hospital


| Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021
jurisdiction
The Cemex mining site in Canyon Country. | Photo: Dan Watson / The Signal.

 

Cemex, the international mining company proposing a massive sand and gravel mine on Santa Clarita’s eastern border in Soledad Canyon, is fighting back against a new question raised on the court’s subject-matter jurisdiction in its legal challenge to the federal government’s termination of its mining contracts.

The defendants — the U.S. Department of the Interior, Interior Board of Land Appeals and the Bureau of Land Management — recently asked Judge Carl Nichols to dismiss the matter or move it to a federal claims court because the legal dispute, dating back to May 2019, is about Cemex’s mining contracts.

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the Interior Board of Land Appeals’ March 2019 ruling that the company’s mining rights in Soledad Canyon expired at the end of July. In 1990, Cemex was issued contracts to mine 56 million tons of sand and gravel just outside in Soledad Canyon. Since that time, the city of Santa Clarita has fought to prevent the work, spending at least $12.5 million.

“Under the Tucker Act, only the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is authorized to adjudicate this case and therefore, this court should either dismiss this action or transfer it to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631,” read another motion filed Dec. 2.

Nichols granted Cemex last month an extension to respond to the newfound jurisdictional argument until Jan. 8. The extension was due to the holidays and the fact that an attorney for Cemex tested positive for COVID-19.

Cemex has now responded and argued that the court “should reject defendants’ newfound jurisdictional argument, grant CEMEX’s motion for summary judgment, and deny defendants’ cross-motion,” according to the response filed Friday.

Attorneys for the plaintiff argue that citing the Tucker Act “fares no better than their merits arguments for two basic, and independent, reasons.”

First, they argue, a federal claims court lacks jurisdiction either to hear challenges to IBLA decisions or to entertain constitutional due process claims.

“Without such power, the Tucker Act cannot conceivably displace this court’s jurisdiction under the APA (together with 28 U.S.C. § 1331) to review and remedy unlawful agency action,” read the response. The APA, or the Administrative Procedure Act, governs the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Cemex attorneys also said that neither the rights invoked, nor the remedies the company seeks, render the matter a Tucker Act case, which they argued is only triggered when a case is founded solely on a contract and without implicating a statute or the Constitution.

“It is not triggered by the mere presence of contractual questions, or by a request for injunctive relief to remedy constitutional injuries even if that relief is the equivalent of specific performance of a contract,” read the response.

Attorneys for the plaintiff added that Cemex is not requesting any monetary damages, but rather “declaratory and injunctive relief” to remedy violations by the defendants. The violations they cite contend that Cemex did not receive a fair notice and due process in reviewing a decision that the IBLA “unlawfully” concluded that the production period in Cemex’s first contract began in 2000 and that BLM could retroactively terminate the company’s rights and hand it a bill “for tens of millions of dollars —- despite dozens of agency statements to the contrary over the course of decades.”

As of Tuesday, future hearings appeared to have yet to be scheduled.

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.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jan 15, 2021
Pandemic Death Toll Hits 2 Million Worldwide
The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic surpassed 2 million on Friday and the World Health Organization warned the global health crisis may get even worse as people weary of restrictions let down their guard and contagious strains of the virus spread around the globe.
Friday, Jan 15, 2021
Residents Mostly Impacted by Power Shutoffs Express Concern Over Ongoing Events
At least once a month, residents of the Cali Lake RV community, nestled in a quiet canyon off a rural part of Soledad Canyon Road, have had their power shut off due to Southern California Edison’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Friday, Jan 15, 2021
City Council OKs Dedications in Tesoro Area, Newhall Pass Open Space
A future open space trailhead in the Tesoro area will be named after a founding Santa Clarita city councilman, and a portion of land in Newhall after a family who has donated several acres of land to the city for open-space preservation.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Newhall Community Hospital
The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic surpassed 2 million on Friday and the World Health Organization warned the global health crisis may get even worse as people weary of restrictions let down their guard and contagious strains of the virus spread around the globe.
Pandemic Death Toll Hits 2 Million Worldwide
At least once a month, residents of the Cali Lake RV community, nestled in a quiet canyon off a rural part of Soledad Canyon Road, have had their power shut off due to Southern California Edison’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Residents Mostly Impacted by Power Shutoffs Express Concern Over Ongoing Events
Late Friday afternoon, a group of parents and student-athletes gathered in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District office to urge the district to bring athletic-conditioning back to school campuses.
Parents, Student-Athletes Gather to Urge Hart District to Bring Athletics Back
A future open space trailhead in the Tesoro area will be named after a founding Santa Clarita city councilman, and a portion of land in Newhall after a family who has donated several acres of land to the city for open-space preservation.
City Council OKs Dedications in Tesoro Area, Newhall Pass Open Space
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Cases Near 1 Million Countywide; 258 New Deaths in County
Jim and Anita Lombardi of Federal Escrow, Inc. donated $50,000 to the Boys and Girls Club to help the organization continue providing COVID-19 relief services in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Boys and Girls Club Receives $50,000 Financial Gift from Federal Escrow, Inc.
The Castaic Union School District governing board appointed a new president during its annual organizational board meeting last month.
CUSD Board Appoints Mayreen Burk as New Board President
The California Supreme Court declared Thursday that worker classification standards set forth in its Dynamex decision should apply retroactively to a labor class action from 15 years ago, as well as all non-final cases that predate the 2018 landmark ruling.
California High Court Makes Landmark Independent Contractor Ruling Retroactive
Los Angeles County officials announced five additional mass-vaccination sites set to open next week which include Six Flags Magic Mountain and California State University, Northridge.
Six Flags, CSUN Set to Open as Mass Vaccination Sites
Waste Management has extended its temporary residential green waste pick-up schedule for customers in Santa Clarita, with regular service anticipated to resume the week of Jan. 25.
Waste Management Extends Modified Green Waste Pick-Up Schedule
The College of the Canyons ‘Canyons Promise’ free tuition program for new students is now accepting applications for the 2021-22 year.
COC’s Canyons Promise Program Now Accepting 2021-22 Applications
The ice rink in Valencia, which the City acquired last year, is currently undergoing renovations prior to its highly anticipated grand reopening later this year.
Renovations for Highly Anticipated City-Owned Ice Rink Continue
The MAIN is set to host eight weeks of free virtual productions from around the world from Jan. 22 through March 12 via Zoom for the Stage on Screen Theatre Fest's International Edition of online theatre.
Jan. 22-March 12: The Main’s Stage On Screen Theatre Fest Goes International
1875 - Henry Mayo Newhall buys western half of the Santa Clarita Valley for $2 an acre [story]
Henry M. Newhall
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 287 new deaths and 17,323 new cases of COVID-19, with 20,918 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: County Surpasses 13,000 Deaths; SCV Cases Total 20,918
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital announced Thursday the opening of its COVID-19 vaccine-distribution site, with the goal of vaccinating nearly 500 people a day.
Henry Mayo Announces Opening of COVID-19 Vaccine-Distribution Site
L.A. County Parks can help you achieve your New Year’s goals while bringing L.A. vibes into virtual classes.
Registration Open for L.A. County Parks’ Online Classes
Join the Santa Clarita Artists Association's first meeting of 2021, which will take place virtually Monday, Jan. 18, at 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 18: Artist Virginia Kamhi to Demonstrate Pastel Techniques
Get ready to get your game on Sunday, March 14, as Soroptimist International of Valencia presents their annual fundraiser to benefit the Soroptimist’s Dream Programs: Live Your Dream and Dream It, Be It.
March 14: ‘Games for a Cause’ Benefiting Soroptimist’s Dream Program
As the COVID-19 surge has continued to overwhelm hospitals over the past couple of months, it has also dramatically impacted the mortuaries where many of the pandemic’s victims end up.
Eternal Valley Struggles to Keep Up With Demand as COVID-19 Surges
The William S. Hart Union High School District governing board voted 4-1 to suspend small cohorts returning to campus through Feb. 8.
Hart District Votes 4-1 to Suspend Return to Campus Until February
The Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding regional areas fell under a red flag warning, prompting Southern California Edison to monitor more than 28,000 of its customers for potential power shutoffs through the remainder of the week.
SoCal Edison Considering Power Shutoffs Amid Red Flag Warning Conditions
California State Parks is seeking to hire ten Visitor Services Park Aides for the 2021 spring Antelope Valley poppy season.
Poppy Reserve Hiring Seasonal Park Aides
%d bloggers like this: