May 7, 2013
Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) most recent bill to block the proposed Cemex sand and gravel mine in Canyon Country has gained support from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.
The bill follows a decade-long battle between Cemex and Santa Clarita, in which Santa Clarita officials oppose the two 10-year contracts Cemex received from the Bureau of Land Management in 1990. The contracts allow Cemex to mine 56 million tons of sand and gravel from Soledad Canyon.
Santa Clarita officials have expressed concerns that the amount of mining would create high truck traffic and compromise air quality.
The bill proposes a land-swap deal in exchange for Cemex’s contracts for the mine. Cemex would be compensated for cancelled contracts with money earned from the sale of federally owned land near Victorville. The bill would prevent any future mining on the site.
Feinstein has previously supported a legislative resolution to the Cemex battle. However, this is the first such bill she has supported.
The bill has not made it through to a congressional session because of its potential to violate House rules against earmarks.
Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar and Intergovernmental Relations Officer Michael Murphy say the goal is for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to hear Boxer’s bill early this summer.