May 31, 2011
Granite Construction Co. says it will allow only clean trucks to use the proposed Liberty Quarry project in Southwest Riverside County. Allowing only trucks with clean air engines will reduce emissions from Granite trucks as well as heavy-duty trucks that are already involved in transporting aggregate throughout the region.
The use of only clean trucks was strongly recommended by both the Coalition for Clean Air and South Coast Air Quality Management District to substantially reduce regional air quality impacts and the potential for health risk. The Liberty Quarry expanded clean truck program reduces individual truck engine PM10 emissions by up to 90 percent and the potential for diesel related health impacts for the project according to studies by Kleinfelder. It is the first time any project in the Inland Empire of any type has made such a commitment.
The air district also recommended, and Granite has also agreed, to use solar panels at the site to generate some of the onsite electrical power needs. Air district staff acknowledged in an April 26 letter to Riverside County, that, “(W)ith the inclusion of these measures, this project will become a leader in the industry for its commitment to reducing air quality and health impacts.”
“I support this project without concern that it poses health risks in my community based on the data already presented,” noted Murrieta pediatrician and Redhawk resident Dr. Colette Grant. “This new commitment to allow only clean trucks to use the quarry is a very big deal because it decreases the health impact of the trucks already on our roads. Everyone should appreciate Granite going the extra mile to improve local air quality and reduce those associated health risk.”
Additionally, according to the county’s independent EIR, Liberty Quarry will reduce regional truck traffic by 16.5 million miles, resulting in a 216 ton reduction in particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions, two key pollutants that must be significantly reduced in order for the region to meet federal health-based air-quality standards.
“Granite Construction has a proud history of leadership when it comes to supporting sustainability and new environmental technology,” Gary Johnson, aggregate resource manager for Granite Construction, said in a written statement. “In the case of Liberty Quarry, we have the opportunity to require clean technology for every aggregate and concrete truck using the facility from day one. This will accelerate clean air efforts in the region which we believe is the right thing to do.”
Requiring new engines for all trucks exceeds all current or contemplated regulatory requirements for the project and industry overall.
“We appreciate the ongoing discussions with AQMD staff in the creation of this program as well as their pledge to assist with the necessary technology to insure its implementation and air monitoring of the project,” Johnson said.
Liberty Quarry will produce construction-grade aggregate, the basic building blocks for roads, schools, hospitals and numerous other infrastructure needs from an isolated location with direct access to Interstate 15. The Department of Conservation has reported that Riverside County will run out of this material in the next 10-20 years if no new sources are permitted. The County EIR estimates that the location of the quarry could reduce the annual truck miles on Riverside County freeways but up to 16.5 million truck-miles per year.
The County Planning Commission is scheduled to continue its review of the Liberty Quarry project and the FEIR findings at a third public hearing on June 22 beginning at 9 a.m. at Rancho Community Church in Temecula.
A full copy of the FEIR is available on home page as well as at www.LibertyQuarryFacts.com.