Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo (D-Chatsworth) has announced the advancement of critical legislation, which, if passed, will give residents a voice against what would be the second largest gravel mine in the nation, the CEMEX mega-mine in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Schiavo’s bill, AB 1631, would allow for a sensible review by the State Water Resources Control Board of applications that are still pending for 30 years or more, which includes the application for the CEMEX mega-mine.
The Santa Clarita Valley has doubled in size since the CEMEX mine application was initially submitted, so residents now living and raising children in the SCV were not even born at the time the original permit process started. Reopening the review process would allow these residents and others who didn’t live in the SCV at the time the opportunity to make their voices heard regarding protecting water needs for our growing community, said Schiavo.
“Mega mines like the proposed CEMEX project would reverse years of environmental protection progress and cause a great disturbance to our community,” she said. “This legislation, which just cleared a major hurdle by advancing through its first committee, will give our community the voice they deserve. Given that the Santa Clarita Valley community works hard to protect our land, water and air quality, our input is vital.”
The proposed CEMEX mega-mine would draw water from the Santa Clara river, one of the last natural rivers in Southern California and an important resource for numerous surrounding communities, including the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys.
“This critical piece of legislation will significantly improve the state’s review of long-pending and severely outdated water appropriation applications. Assembly Bill 1631 strengthens public participation in this process and ensures that members of the public and community stakeholders have an opportunity to have their views presented and considered by the State Water Resources Control Board. Additionally, this legislation is critical in protecting ground water, rivers and tributaries, and some of the state’s most iconic wildlife.” said Santa Clarita Mayor, Jason Gibbs, “I commend Assemblywoman Schiavo for introducing this legislation and inviting me to testify in support of this incredibly important matter and express my sincere appreciation for her work in successfully getting this bill out of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.”
Schiavo was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022 to represent the 40th Assembly District, representing the Northwest San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. Upon her election, she was appointed as Assistant Majority Whip by the Speaker of the Assembly.