Congressman McKeon Introduces Mining Bill
U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon has made good on his promise to introduce a bill to reduce mining in Soledad Canyon to “historic levels"... McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, introduced the “Soledad Canyon Mine Cancellation Act” into the House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon. The bill, he said, is intended to limit the size and scope of a proposed gravel mine on 460 acres south of state Route 14 in Canyon Country.
If approved, the act would authorize federal land to be swapped for acreage in Soledad Canyon, where Mexican cement giant Cemex would otherwise extract 78 million tons of sand and gravel over the next 20 years. McKeon’s bill would the plan to 5 to 6 million tons over that period in exchange for permission for Cemex to mine more material elsewhere.
The bill further would further prohibit any future lease from authorizing mining beyond the canyon’s “historic mining level.” Gravel has been mined in Soledad Canyon — at much lower levels that the Cemex proposal — at least since the 1930s.
“The proposed operations at the TMC/Cemex Mine are approximately 10 times greater than historic levels, and will undoubtedly create 10 times the traffic congestion, 10 times the air pollution and 10 times the dangerous environmental conditions,” McKeon said in a statement.
McKeon has held talks with Roberto Perez, president of Cemex’s U.S. operations, and has said his bill will need the support of both the mining company and the federal Bureau of Land Management if it’s to have a chance of passage.