header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
45°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 8
1941 - Julius Dietzmann family of Castaic arrested as German enemy aliens [story]
Julius Dietzmann


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
Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021
In last month’s blog I listed the many unusual animals DACC has impounded throughout the years. I challenged readers to guess which two species of animals that DACC has not impounded, promising to reveal the answer in this month’s blog.
Tuesday, Nov 2, 2021
October 30 was the day we cut the ribbon and welcomed residents to the new Canyon Country Community Center.
Monday, Nov 1, 2021
Tis the season to celebrate, and I know I cannot wait to come together as a community, once again, to kick off the holiday season at Light Up Main Street! This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct 14, 2021
People are often surprised when I tell them the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) cares for animals other than dogs and cats.
Monday, Oct 4, 2021
The culmination of a major project is always an exciting time.
Friday, Oct 1, 2021
It is time to celebrate everything that makes Santa Clarita an All-Star City! We are thrilled to once again hold our landmark State of the City event in person for 2021. The big event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 3:00 p.m. at the brand-new Canyon Country Community Center.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1941 - Julius Dietzmann family of Castaic arrested as German enemy aliens [story]
Julius Dietzmann
The Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative announced that the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge #2379 has donated $2,000 worth of Walmart and Lowe’s gift cards to the SCVSC.
SCV Elks Lodge 2379 Donates Gift Cards to Veterans
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold its regular meeting Thursday, Dec. 9, at 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 9: Arts Commission Regular Meeting
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Tuesday 15 new deaths and 941 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 39,492 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: Public Health Releases the Latest Updates from the Last 7 Days
In an unprecedented decision spurred by the state’s extreme drought conditions, the California Department of Water Resources announced a 0% initial allocation from the State Water Project for the upcoming year.
State Will Not Allocate California Water Project Supplies for 2022
California State University, Northridge will launch programs in fall 2022 that will expedite the process for getting a credential for those who are interested in teaching history and social science in middle or high school.
CSUN to Offer Accelerated Credential Program for Aspiring History Teachers
Academy of the Canyons, the middle college high school in the William S. Hart Union High School District, has been named by Niche as the number 16 ranked high school in the State of California.
Academy of the Canyons, Hart District Rank in Top 20
1921 - William S. Hart marries actress Winifred Westover [story]
Bill and Winifred Hart
The Santa Clarita City Council officially broke ground Monday at Central Park on a key project which will enhance the crown jewel of the city of Santa Clarita’s parks system.
City Officially Breaks Ground on Central Park Buildout
The city of Santa Clarita’s Arts Division is excited to welcome “Creative Faces” to the First Floor Gallery at Santa Clarita City Hall.
Residents Encouraged to Explore ‘Creative Faces’ at City Hall
The city of Santa Clarita is encouraging interested and qualified residents to apply for an open commissioner position on the City’s Arts Commission.
City Accepting Applications for Arts Commissioner
The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society is seeking donations to replace the original brass, 6-chime train whistle, which was stolen years ago from the Historical Society's vintage 1900 Southern Pacific locomotive.
Historical Society Seeking Donations for Stolen Train Whistle
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported three additional deaths from COVID-19 over the weekend, spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed Monday, bringing the total to 184 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
Monday COVID Roundup: Three Additional Deaths at Henry Mayo
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has received confirmation of an additional case of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with the new Omicron variant.
Additional Omicron Case in L.A. County; New Travel Restrictions in Effect
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the 15 productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, Dec. 6 - Sunday, Dec. 12
Filming in Santa Clarita Includes 15 Productions
1864 - Actor William S. Hart born in Newburgh, New York [Hart Index]
Wm. S. Hart
1938 - Supervisors award construction contract for jail at Wayside Farms in Castaic (later called Pitchess Detention Center). [story]
Wayside
1962- Actress and future Soledad Canyon big-cat rescuer Tippi Hedren, "Hitchcock's New Grace Kelly," makes cover of Look magazine for upcoming thriller, "The Birds" [story]
Tippi Hedren
The Santa Clarita City Council will take a major step toward enhancing one of the city of Santa Clarita’s landmark amenities by holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Park Buildout project on Monday, Dec. 6.
City Invites Community to Central Park Buildout Groundbreaking
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Friday 17 new deaths and 1,942 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 39,281 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: Cases Among People Experiencing Homelessness Declines for 2nd Month in a Row
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 7: Planning Commission Regular Meeting
The first cohort of the College of the Canyons Low Observable Technician Pathway graduated on Nov. 23. 2021 at a special ceremony held at the college’s culinary arts center.
COC’s First Low Observable Technician Pathway Cohort Graduates
The Board of Trustees of the Santa Clarita Community College District is undergoing the redistricting process, and community members will have the opportunity to comment on revised trustee area boundaries at two upcoming public hearings.
Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees Undergoing Redistricting
The California Highway Patrol joins the American Occupational Therapy Association in recognizing Dec. 6 through Dec. 10, 2021, as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.
Dec. 6-10: 2021 Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: