27 Mar EDITORIAL: Cemex Controversy Nearing An End
It’s taken twenty-eight years, but thanks to the persistent efforts of Congressman Steve Knight and US Senator Dianne Feinstein, Federal Legislation to put a stop to the potential Cemex mega-mine in Santa Clarita has finally been signed by President Trump.
The Cemex Mine would have been a disaster to the east side of our Valley, creating poor air quality, severe added traffic congestion with hundreds of cement trucks crawling up and down the 14 freeway every day. The environmental impact, devaluation of our homes and the future ramifications for our children have made the fight against the Soledad Mining Project more than worth the effort.
Congressman Knight has been working diligently since he was elected into office to navigate solutions to the costly stalemate. The legislation that was signed on Friday by President Trump, as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, is a major step to eliminating the mine forever.
Knight was able to break through the quagmire after only three years in Congress, a positive major step to a solution that no one else was able to accomplish.
The legislation effectively ends all future mining on the site after the two ten-year contracts awarded to Cemex come to an end. The first contract was awarded in 2000, which should put the end to the second ten-year contract in the year 2020. Once these contracts end, no future mining can take place on the site.
The dispute isn’t yet resolved. It’s unclear what Cemex will try to do to counter the ending dates of their contract. Whatever their decision, they will have an uphill legal battle if they try to move the end date of their claim.
Along with Congressman Knight, there are other heroes who have gone on a political limb to defend our valley. Senator Dianne Feinstein and her staff have fought hard and worked behind the scenes to assist. Our city, under the leadership of current Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, City Councilman Bob Kellar and City Manager Ken Striplin all deserve our thanks. They were there at the start, fighting the several decades long battle, taking many trips to Washington and never giving up when so many community leaders said stopping Cemex was impossible and a waste of money.
Senator Scott Wilk has also been assisting from the state level, introducing legislation in Sacramento to eliminate mining at the Cemex site
Another hero in this saga is City Inter-Government Relations Manager, Mike Murphy. He’s the guy, behind the scenes who deserves to be placed on the stage for his non-stop efforts.
While the Cemex saga hasn’t reached its final ending, we are well on the way to solving this tragedy. KHTS will continue to keep a close watch as the final chapters are laid out. Once the Cemex controversy does come to an end, we can only imagine what can come to fruition when the energy and resources of our government officials are redirected from this fight to more positive future projects. It will be nice for us to focus on the positive instead of being required to defend the negative.