National Forest Service Has Had Project for 5 Years!
City officials learned yesterday of a mining plan for 11554 Soledad Canyon Road, literally across the street from the proposed Cemex mining project, just outside the City of Santa Clarita. The 40-acre mining area, located on the south side of the Santa Clara River, calls for a seven acre processing and stockpiling area and a one lane bridge across the Santa Clara River, connecting the processing site with the mining site.
Proposed by Pacific Industrial Minerals out of Arizona, the potential 20-year project is located in the national forest area and is being processed under the U.S. Forest Service.
Called the Caspar mine, the project proposes to mine anorthosite, a chalky white material used to bind concrete for building.
The proposed quarry could generate as many as 25 truckloads per day, operating five days per week. Proposed operations are during daylight hours. Maximum annual production is anticipated at 150,000 tons.
The proposed mining project was explained for the first time to the Executive Advisory Committee for the proposed Cemex mining project by Martin E. Esparza, a minerals assistant with the Los Angeles River Rangers District. Although Esparza admitted his office has known about the project for the last five years, the community was never told about the plans for this new mine and a bridge across the Santa Clara River.
The Acton and Agua Dulce Town Council learned of the project just days ago. Andrew Fried, Agua Dulce Town Council president, who also co-chairs the TMC Executive Advisory Committee, invited Esparza to attend yesterdays meeting to discuss the project with the Advisory Committee. Fried, on behalf of the Agua Dulce Town Council, has already sent a letter requesting an extension of the comment period for the project, which ends May 17, 2005.
Fried was told via email today that the request for an extension would not be granted. “The purpose of scoping is to bring to light the issues surrounding a project proposal and those issues should either modify the proposed action or there should be alternatives to the proposed action that are developed around the issues. If we wind up doing a full Environmental Assessment (EA) there is another 30 day public
comment period after that analysis is done. So, think about what your main issues are regarding this project or mining in general so that we can address them in the environmental analysis,” said Cid H. Morgan, District Ranger, Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers Ranger District, in an email.
The City and the Agua Dulce Town Council are asking Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon to assist in obtaining an extension for the comment period on the project from the National Forest.
According to the Forest Service, all interested individuals and organizations are welcome to make comments about the proposed project to the Santa Clara Mojave Rivers at 30800 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus, CA 91350 or faxed to 661/296-5847 by May 17, 2005.
For more information, contact Martin E. Esparza at 818/899-1900, ext. 230.