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UPDATE: Anti-mining petition more than half way to goal

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Posted: April 18, 2012 1:35 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2012 5:06 p.m.
 

As the clock ticks down on talks extended by Cemex to resolve a decade-old impasse over mining in Soledad Canyon, a petition to stop any such mining continues to gather names of people opposed to the mine.

By Wednesday, at least 3,000 people had signed a petition drafted by Safe Action for the Environment Inc.
"It has slowed down a little bit but we're still getting names," group spokesman Andrew G. Fried said.

The petition drafted by his group opposes the construction materials company mining in Soledad Canyon and supports Senator Barbara Boxer's Senate Bill S. 759.

The goal is to get at least 5,000 signatures and, after six weeks, the group is more than half way there.
Fried said word of the petition is gaining support through online social media outlets.

"Any time someone well known signs, we get more names," he said.

Fried and his group plan to give the petition, with what they hope is its convincing number of signatures, to Boxer, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and the Senate Committee of Energy and Natural Resources.

Cemex purchased mining contracts from the Bureau of Land Management in 1990 to open the proposed 56 million ton sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon.

Under the Boxer bill, if Cemex abandons the Soledad Canyon mine, it will be compensated through the sale of three specific tracts of land north of Victorville and just west of Interstate 15.

The land is owned by the federal government, managed by the Bureau of Land Management and deemed "surplus land" already identified as disposable.

The bill would direct the U.S. secretary of the interior to call for the sale of each of the three blocks of land. Proceeds would be deposited into a federal Treasury bank account and set aside to pay the first contract holder, which is Cemex.

Cemex and all parties working with the Mexican firm are hoping the Boxer bill is passed this year.

Cemex officials had already extended talks into the new year by giving all concerned parties until the end of March to come up with a solution.

City officials working with Cemex were told late March that talks would be extended to at least the end of May.

Petitions can be signed by visiting www.safe4environment.org online.

jholt@the-signal.com
661-287-5527

 

 

 

 

 

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