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Santa Clarita Creates Citizen Coalition To Fight Cemex

More than 7,400 Sign up for Citizen Coalition

More than 7,400 residents in Los Angeles County overwhelmingly support and have joined the City of Santa Clarita’s battle against the 69-million ton mega mine proposed by the multinational corporate giant CEMEX mining company.  CEMEX’s 20-year mega mining plan in the Santa Clarita Valley will remove enough sand, rock and gravel to fill the Rose Bowl 127 times.

The City of Santa Clarita announced today, the formation of a new Citizens’ Coalition against the CEMEX mega mine that includes thousands of residents, businesses and municipalities. The massive Citizens’ Coalition, formed recently following just one informational mailer, cites excessive big truck traffic and air quality issues as its main objections to the mammoth project planned for an area just east of Santa Clarita city limits and adjacent to thousands of homes and schools.

The goal of the Citizens’ Coalition is for CEMEX to scale back its mega mine to historic levels of mining in the area.  The Citizens’ Coalition will work with the City and other interests to prevent the siting of the sand and gravel mine as proposed by CEMEX in Soledad Canyon. “The response that this issue has generated is unprecedented for this area,” explained Mayor Laurene Weste of Santa Clarita Valley.  “Citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley and Los Angeles County are clearly voicing their opposition to a mining project of this size and scope located so close to families and businesses, and clogging up the freeways and dirtying the air.

As public leaders elected by the voters, it is our duty to protect our community and the greater area from dangerous conditions that will result from such a massive mining plant.” The formation of the Citizens’ Coalition comes on the heels of a new 80-foot billboard erected last week on Highway 14 off the Sand Canyon exit that educates drivers about just one of the many negative conditions the mega mine could create for the Los Angeles area -- exponentially increased traffic.

“No school district, parents or teachers should stand for the horrible health issues that a mine of this size so close to schools will bring upon the young students,” explained Dr. Robert Nolet, superintendent of the Sulphur Springs School District.  “Our school district is very concerned about the health issues related to this massive mining project, especially the air quality issues which will undoubtedly impact all of our students, and most notably those children with asthma and other breathing problems.”

According to Los Angeles County’s Draft Environmental Impact Report prepared by CEMEX consultants, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Revised Final Environmental Impact Statement, the full mega mine project in Santa Clarita Valley as planned will Ultimately add up to 1,164 daily big truck trips to Los Angeles area freeways; Put 18-wheelers and other trucks onto local roads and freeways an average of every one and a half to two minutes, 24 hours a day; Include blasting two to four times a week with 8,800 pounds of explosive per blast; Mine, excavate, stockpile, crush and process sand and gravel 17 hours per day, Monday through Saturday, with concrete batch plant operations and trucking occurring over 24 hours a day, seven days per week and; Cause state air quality standards for particulate emissions to be exceeded by approximately two times, and cause the state standard for nitrogen dioxides to be exceeded 1.2 to 1.5 times.

Santa Clarita was recently named as the best city in which to live in California by CNN/Money Magazine and one of the top five most business friendly cities in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. “Santa Clarita has over the years been nationally recognized as one of the best places to live and work,” added Mayor Weste. “But soon, if nothing is done about the mega mine, it could undoubtedly become one of the worst and unhealthiest places to live. This is a fate the City, its residents and all of Los Angeles will not take lying down.” The City of Santa Clarita and the Citizens’ Coalition strongly supports proposed legislation by Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, HR 5471, to limit mining to historical levels only (300,000 tons per year instead of the five million tons per year proposed by CEMEX).
“Residents and businesses are very concerned about the damage this project will cause to the environment, specifically the potential impacts to the Santa Clara River and to the two endangered species in the area,” commented Andy Fried, president of Safe Action for the Environment (SAFE), a local organization formed to fight the mining project.  “A project of this size and scope has no place near families, schools and businesses.”

For more information on the CEMEX mega mine and how to become involved with the Citizens’ Coalition, please visit the web at www.santa-clarita.com/news/tmc.asp.