header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
81°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 16
1872 - Mitchell adobe home in Soledad Canyon area first used as schoolhouse; genesis of 1879 Sulphur Springs School District [story]
Mitchell adobe


Commentary by Andrew G. Fried
| Sunday, May 4, 2014
Andrew G. Fried

Andrew G. Fried

You would think that a big push to develop a massive gravel mine would at least be backed up by one significant factor: The need for one.

As we’ve written previously, the proposed 56-million-ton CEMEX mine, just outside the City of Santa Clarita, would cause significant and irreversible impacts on the wildlife corridors in and around the Santa Clara River, and is a threat to the health, safety and welfare of thousands of Santa Clarita Valley residents.

It’s now clear that it’s also unnecessary.

That’s not just the opinion of those who oppose the mine because of its local impacts, including the City of Santa Clarita and our organization, Safe Action for the Environment Inc. It’s also the opinion of the State of California’s Natural Resources Agency, whose chief has endorsed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s bill, S. 771, cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The bill would cancel the CEMEX mining contracts and compensate the mining company via the sale of surplus lands near Victorville.

“This bill provides the City of Santa Clarita and CEMEX USA the path forward to successfully resolve a nearly 15-year dispute involving sand and gravel contracts with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM),” says a letter from John Laird, secretary for California Natural Resources, in support of Boxer’s S. 771. “[The bill] provides solutions for all parties engaged in this dispute and benefits an important watershed in Southern California.”

Further, as Laird’s staff has concluded, California doesn’t need the aggregate from this site.

In his testimony to a Senate subcommittee in November, Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar pointed out that a 2012 study by the California Conservation Department — which falls under the umbrella of the California Natural Resources Agency — concluded that there is more than enough aggregate identified for mining throughout the state to meet construction needs for many years to come.

Kellar noted that the state report identifies non-permitted aggregate resources “representing six times the anticipated statewide demand!”

“Clearly,” said Kellar, “sand and gravel aggregate is not in short supply in California!”

In his support of S. 771, Secretary Laird made clear that there are other, more important priorities to consider when it comes to the proposed Soledad Canyon mining site.

“The City of Santa Clarita and its residents will greatly benefit from improved quality of life,” if S. 771 is approved and the mine is stopped, Laird said. “CEMEX [would be] made whole for its canceled contracts in Santa Clarita through the proceeds of other public lands already identified for disposal.”

“Moreover,” Laird added, “the natural resources located adjacent to the Upper [Santa Clara] River, which contain critical riparian forest woodland and coastal sage scrub habitats, [would be] protected and conserved to the benefit of the region and downstream into Ventura County.”

Secretary Laird’s thoughtful and well-reasoned input on S. 771 leaves no doubt: California does not need a massive aggregate mine in Soledad Canyon, and moreover, the environmental impacts from pushing it through as proposed would be unacceptable, not only for the wildlife in the region but also for livestock and human inhabitants as well.

Our local representatives get it. The state’s secretary of natural resources gets it.

The BLM should follow suit.

However, there are powerful reasons for the BLM to continue standing in the way of S. 771, as it has been doing thus far in the legislative process. You see, the BLM doesn’t see the Soledad Canyon mining site for what it means to those of us who live here. Rather, the BLM sees it as a symbol of their power as well as a source of income. The royalties that could be generated by the mining site could help sustain the bureaucracy for many years to come, especially if the mining extends beyond what’s already permitted by the two 10-year consecutive CEMEX contracts.

As far as the BLM is concerned, we’re going to get a massive gravel mine in Soledad Canyon — whether California needs one or not. That’s what Boxer, Feinstein and their teams are up against in Washington, D.C., making it ever more important that we demonstrate community support for S. 771 in the coming weeks as we try to push the bill out of committee and toward the Senate floor. If you’d like to show your support for S. 771 — and send the message that California neither needs nor wants the BLM’s Soledad Canyon mega-mine, please visit www.safe4environment.org to find out how to express your support for the bill.

It’s ironic, really. When it comes to Soledad Canyon, the BLM values a revenue stream more than it values an actual river. Let’s show them how wrong they really are.

Andrew Fried is president of Safe Action for the Environment Inc. To find more information regarding SAFE and S. 771, 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.

1 Comment

  1. Gene Dorio, M.D. says:

    Some of the worse polluted air is found in our Valley. Development of Cemex mining will especially impact our children and elder seniors.

    Becoming experts on airborne particulate matter and the laws surrounding this type of pollution may aid in our fight. The AQMD (Air Quality Management District) monitors pollutant levels using sophisticated instruments and are mindful of companies that might overpollute.

    Several years ago I presented to the City Council a thought the City of Santa Clarita purchase these measuring instruments (cost at that time was about $100,000 each) and should the Cemex mine be built, place them closeby to monitor the pollutants.

    Should it go beyond the law, we sue. Sometimes our only recourse is through the court system, and we must have a counterplan should the overzealous BLM block Senate bill 771. Using our knowledge of the law and scientifically obtained evidence, either as a threat from our City or implementation down the line, might alter decision-making at Cemex.

    Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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
Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
Today’s blog is the third and final installment in a series in which I review how the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control (DACC) has improved its operations over the past 20 years.
Thursday, Sep 2, 2021
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, youth drug abuse is a high-profile public health concern that is on the rise.
Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021
You simply have to drive through our community to appreciate the natural beauty of Santa Clarita
Thursday, Aug 26, 2021
The recent events in Afghanistan and their mental health ramifications for our military community remind us that there are challenges beyond the pandemic.
Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021
I am still haunted by a case I had in 1986 when I was a newly minted animal cruelty investigator in Houston, Texas. I had received a complaint from a resident about her neighbor, who had dozens of animals inside her home that were ill and often dying.
Tuesday, Aug 3, 2021
As you drive around Santa Clarita, do you ever wonder what work is being done at your neighborhood park? Or when the new Sheriff’s Station will be complete? Maybe you want to go ice skating at The Cube or find out what issues are going before the City Council. There are several ways you can discover what’s going on in your city.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
One of the toughest decisions a pet owner can face is no longer being able to keep their beloved pet.
County Animal Care & Control Launches Resource for Rehoming Pets
Midway through the 2021 season, the Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals girls’ volleyball team finds itself ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 8.
CIF-SS Ranks Santa Clarita Christian Girls Volleyball No. 1
If the teams are still having trouble figuring out their schemes, right now would be a very good time to turn it around: Foothill League competition starts next week.
SCV High School Football Week Five Preview
Today’s blog is the third and final installment in a series in which I review how the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control (DACC) has improved its operations over the past 20 years.
Marcia Mayeda Reflects on 20 Years at Animal Care & Control | Third in a Series
Well more than 100 people gathered at the Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway Saturday to enjoy time with friends and family — and raise funds for local charities — during the Elks’ Car & Bike Show.
Elks’ Car & Bike Show Raises Funds for Area Charities
1872 - Mitchell adobe home in Soledad Canyon area first used as schoolhouse; genesis of 1879 Sulphur Springs School District [story]
Mitchell adobe
Students across L.A. County may soon have access to more mental health services with the expansion of the Community School Initiative. 
Student Mental Health Services Expansion To Be Explored County Wide
Supervisor Kathryn Barger has read a motion to accept a portion of Sloan Canyon Road near Castaic High School into the county system of highways in an effort to ensure roadway safety and prevent future crashes. 
Supervisor Barger To Address Sloan Canyon Traffic Safety
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 37 new deaths and 1,930 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 34,936 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Public Health Issues New Vaccine Order; 34,936 Total SCV Cases
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station deputies are looking for the scoop after multiple Baskin- Robbins ice cream shops were burglarized overnight Tuesday, including two locations in the Santa Clarita Valley.
2 Suspects Arrested In Connection To Baskin-Robbins Burglaries
The city of Santa Clarita invites non-profit organizations interested in learning more about the 2022 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program to a meeting on Thursday, Sept 23.
City Invites Non-Profits To Informational Meeting On Non-Profit Grant
The city of Santa Clarita is presenting the 2021 Parent Resource Symposium, titled “Social Media: The New Gateway Drug” later this month. 
Upcoming Parent Symposium To Show Dangers Of Social Media
A storm’s a-Bruin in the city of Santa Clarita for the start of the American Collegiate Hockey Association season.
UCLA Hockey To Play At The Cube In Valencia
Angeles National Forest officials announced Wednesday the current forest-wide emergency closure order has been extended till midnight of Sept. 22.
Angeles National Forest Extends Closure Until Sept. 22
The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services is pleased to announce the launch of a new website that links jobseekers and businesses to free workforce development services available through the County’s network of America’s Job Centers of California.
L.A. County Launches New Website For Jobseekers And Businesses
Gov. Gavin Newsom survived efforts aimed at removing him from office after a majority of Californians voted “no” in Tuesday’s recall election, according to preliminary election results.
Gavin Newsom Defeats Recall Efforts
1970 - SCV voters recall two Hart School Board members who didn't let Canyon students protest the Vietnam War [story]
voting
A majority of ballots counted as of Tuesday evening favored keeping the governor in office as county election officials across the state continued tallying ballots Tuesday night in the election to determine whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Early Returns: California Voters Rejecting Recall of Gov. Newsom
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 27 new deaths and 1,725 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 34,885 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: Correctional Facilities Continue to See COVID-19 Outbreaks; 34,885 Total SCV Cases
Reports of an aircraft crash landing at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic prompted a full response from law enforcement and first responders Tuesday, with initial reports indicating the plane’s occupants were not injured.
Aircraft Crash-Lands Near Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic
In an email sent to parents Tuesday morning, Hart High School Principal Jason d’Autremont called for an end to a destructive social media trend that involves students filming themselves “trashing” school bathrooms.
Hart Principal Calls for End to ‘Bathroom Trashing’ Social Media Trend
In partnership with the Community College Consortium for OER, College of the Canyons has received a second grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to expand and extend the Open for Anti-Racism program supporting faculty in California Community Colleges.
COC Receives Grant to Support Anti-Racism Through Open Educational Resources
1924 - SCV Deputy Ed Brown killed in shootout with Gus Le Brun [story]
Deputy Ed Brown
The Santa Clarita Master Chorale is proud to announce its annual benefit event - Cabaret and Cabernet - will be held Saturday, Oct. 16, at 5:00 p.m., in the Bridgeport Clubhouse.
Oct. 16: Santa Clarita Master Chorale’s Annual Benefit Fundraiser
%d bloggers like this: