A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of a proposed mega-mine in Soledad Canyon this week, a setback in the city of Santa Clarita’s years-long battle with the mining company. The judge ruled Tuesday in favor of Cemex in a case involving the Federal Endangered Species Act. The case was filed against the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Attorney Geralyn Skapik said while the court believes the environmental impact report completed for the mining property was sufficient, the city still holds it was “insufficient … and inadequate.” Skapik said she will be filing an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals within the next 30 days, and has “hope that this matter will be resolved (in the city’s favor).” The court’s ruling was not a surprise, said Michael Murphy, the city’s intergovernmental relations officer. Based on previous rulings by the judge, the decision was anticipated, though Murphy was undeterred. “We think we have a good legal case,” he said. The Mexico-based Cemex proposes to extract some 78 million tons of sand and gravel from the Soledad Canyon site over a period of 20 years. The city owns the property located east of state Highway 14, but the Department of the Interior has licensed mineral rights to Cemex, and the BLM has issued mining permits for the property. The city’s ownership of the property is not enough to halt the project.
This story can be found in the Signal Newspaper!