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Cemex Quarry at Soledad Canyon Hits Another Snag

A bill giving the Santa Clarita Valley in California a chance to speak out against the prospect of Cemex mining in Soledad Canyon was passed by a committee in Sacramento, said the bill’s author, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, (R-Santa Clarita).

Assembly Bill 1986 passed the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, setting it on a path to the Appropriations Committee for review.

“My Cemex bill passed today,” Wilk told The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. “We’ve got a long way to go. But in terms of water permits seeking approval by the State Water Control Board, those requests were 20 years ago. A lot has happened. And because so much time has passed since 1990, you have to reopen it for public comment.”

Wilk’s bill would reopen the permitting process for the long-debated Cemex sand and gravel mine in Canyon Country.

Wilk has described his Assembly Bill 1986 as “a ‘Plan B’ that would allow us to make the case with state regulators on why this mega-mine doesn’t work in our community.”

Frontier Stone Seeks Action on New York Project

After the a highly critical public hearing earlier in March about a Shelby, N.Y., quarry project headed by Frontier Stone, the company has detailed how the project would function and be beneficial to the area. According to The Daily News, the current proposition by Frontier Stone consists of a 215.5-acre dolomite/limestone quarry on a 269.45 parcel of land, which would produce high-quality construction aggregate and high-grade agricultural lime. The quarry would be located in Shelby on property which is currently farmland.

According to Frontier Stone, mining – if approved – will be divided into four phases over the operational life of the mine, which is estimated to be 75 years. Mining during the first phase will take place on 11.6 acres of land in the southwest corner of the site, and the remaining acres of surrounding land would continue to be farmed by the current landowner.

In late January, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft permit to Frontier Stone. Citizens and groups were able to petition for party status and produce experts to refute the project and tell the DEC why it shouldn’t issue a full permit at the issues conference held in late April.

Vulcan Expansion Moving Forward in North Carolina

The Concord, N.C., City Council has approved a rezoning request for 66.875 acres that will allow Vulcan Lands Inc. to expand its operations, according to The Independent Tribune.

The rezoning request was approved at a recent Concord City Council meeting after a public hearing. During the public hearing no one opposed the rezoning change. The property was annexed into the Concord city limits at the council’s meeting in March, and afterward officials had to designate a zoning for the property. The rezoning affected two parcels consisting of approximately 66.875 acres. The parcels are located adjacent to Vulcan’s existing quarry on the east side of Trail Road, northwest of Goodman Road.

Vulcan Materials officials requested the property be designated Heavy Industrial (I-2) for the purpose of expanding its existing quarry and dirt storage. The smaller parcel, which is almost two acres, was zoned Cabarrus County Countryside Residential. The larger parcel, which is roughly 65 acres, was zoned Cabarrus County Office-Institutional District. Now that the rezoning has been approved, Vulcan can move forward on expanding their operations.

Lafarge Secures Special Use Permit

According to the Buffalo News, city council unanimously voted to allow Lafarge North America a special-use permit to expand its stone quarry to mine an additional 9.1 acres within the city limits.

The city’s century-old water supply line from the Niagara River runs past the site. Lafarge has pledged to foot the bill for any blasting-related repairs to the pipeline with a $500,000 repair fund, and also will pay up to $50,000 to replace the valve that connects the city water system to the county system as an emergency water source.

Alderman Mark S. Devine, R-3rd Ward, who campaigned last fall against the permit, explained that Lafarge’s insurance fund changed his mind. “I didn’t have all the facts,” Devine said. “When (Lafarge project manager) Perry Galdenzi looked me in the eye and shook my hand and said Lafarge won’t leave the city high and dry on this one, that was good enough for me.”