City Reacts to Interior Board of Land Appeals Decision on CEMEX Corporation Mining Contracts
CITY REACTS TO INTERIOR BOARD OF LAND APPEALS DECISION ON
CEMEX CORPORATION MINING CONTRACTS
All CEMEX mining rights to Soledad Canyon to expire in 2020
The much-anticipated decision came down today, in what has been a two decades long battle over mining rights in Soledad Canyon. In August 2015 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) canceled all CEMEX Corporation mining contracts for Soledad Canyon. A ruling that CEMEX had appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) in September 2015. Today IBLA ruled that the BLM decision is “affirmed in part, reversed in part, set aside in part, and case remanded.” The key part of this ruling is, all of CEMEX’s mining rights in Soledad Canyon will expire in July of 2020. Today’s decision by IBLA will be the final word from the U.S. Department of the Interior, but CEMEX Corporation may still appeal the ruling in federal court.
“CEMEX has never done any mining in Soledad Canyon, and after today’s decision – they never will,” said Councilmember and CEMEX City Council sub-committee member Bob Kellar. “Even though their contract will not expire till 2020, it would take them at least three years to get their operation up and running. The importance of this decision cannot be understated – this is a monumental victory for our residents and our environment.”
The City of Santa Clarita has been fighting to prevent mining in Soledad Canyon since the CEMEX contracts were issued by the federal government in 1990. The CEMEX contracts would have allowed for the mining of 56 million tons of sand and gravel from Soledad Canyon which would have added up to 1,164 truck trips a day to local roads and freeways. This would have caused air quality issues and potential negative impacts to the Santa Clara River, the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and wildlife corridors connecting the Angeles National Forest, as well as fish, wildlife and plants in the area.
“This community has worked hard to protect its air and water quality and the health of our citizens and life in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Councilmember and CEMEX City Council sub-committee member, Laurene Weste. “This is a historic win for residents of the City of Santa Clarita. We have fought for the last 20 years to make sure our community was protected from the effects of this mega-mining project. It’s been a tough fight – fought by many, including our City, our elected officials and those at all levels of government, together with our community. I am ecstatic that all the hard work has finally paid off.”
The City of Santa Clarita would like to thank all of our partners who fought to protect our community from mega mining.