by Tim Whyte, SCVNews.com
The nonprofit Safe Action for the Environment Inc. has launched an online petition and letter-writing drive seeking support for Senate Bill S. 759, authored by Sen. Barbara Boxer to stop the development of a massive sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon.
Boxer, D-Calif., has introduced the legislation to resolve a 12-year dispute over the proposed 56-million-ton CEMEX mine just outside the City of Santa Clarita.
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“We’re so grateful to Sen. Boxer for carrying this legislation to help protect the communities that would be adversely impacted by this mine,” said SAFE President Andrew Fried. “This proposed mine would cause unacceptable impacts to the environment, would worsen local air quality, and would severely diminish the quality of life for everyone who lives in the region.”
CEMEX and the City of Santa Clarita reached a truce in their dispute in 2007, agreeing to seek a mutually agreeable resolution. Boxer’s S. 759 would provide just such a resolution, by canceling the CEMEX mining contracts for the Soledad Canyon site and compensating CEMEX through the sale of federal lands near Victorville — properties that are currently on the Bureau of Land Management’s “Disposal List.”
“Sen. Boxer’s bill accomplishes the goal of that truce, and time is of the essence — we need to urge its passage,” Fried said. “It’s a win-win-win for CEMEX, the City of Santa Clarita, the residents who live near the mine and everyone who travels through the area who will no longer face the threat of 1,164 new gravel truck trips every day.”
To sign the petition or write a letter of support, residents can visit www.safe4environment.org  and click on the “Sign Our Petition” and “Write to Support S. 759” buttons.
You can also sign the petition by going directly to the Care2 petition site, www.care2.com , and type “S759” in the search window.
Upon completion, SAFE’s petition will be shared with Boxer, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and the members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
“Our goal is 5,000 signatures, and we’re over halfway there,” Fried said. “Many local residents have signed the petition, and we sincerely appreciate their support for this important legislation. We’re asking everyone in northern Los Angeles County to express their support, too, and help show Congress how vital S. 759 is to our region.”
Additional information about SAFE and its support of S. 759 is available at www.safe4environment.org .
Follow this URL for the SAFE petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/537/274/769/save-soledad-canyon-stop-the-cemex-gravel-mine