U.S. Senator Barbra Boxer has introduced legislation aimed at stopping the 20-year-old mining dispute between the City of Santa Clarita and CEMEX USA.
That mining dispute is over a contract granted to CEMEX by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to extract 56 million tons of sand and gravel from a site in Soledad Canyon.
The City joined residents concerned about pollution, increased traffic and environmental impacts, in fighting the proposed mining site since the two ten-year consecutive contracts were awarded in 1990.
Senator Boxer’s legislation, titled the Soledad Canyon High Desert, California Public Lands Conservation and Management Act of 2010, is a companion bill to one that Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon is circulating in the house.
To read more about Congressman McKeon’s bill, introduced to the house in December 2009 click here.
Senator Boxer’s legislation would require the Secretary of the Interior to cancel CEMEX’s mining contracts in Soledad Canyon and prohibit future mining at the site.
To compensate for CEMEX’s loss the BLM would sell land near Victorville, which is currently on that city’s disposal list, with the proceeds going to CEMEX.
Officials from the City of Santa Clarita have expressed their approval of the new legislation.
“We are very pleased the Soledad Canyon Mine Act is now under consideration in both houses of Congress,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste. “Senator Boxer and Congressman McKeon understand the needs and environmental concerns of their constituents and we look forward to working with both of them to advance this legislation.”