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CITY PLANS TO OPPOSE 2ND QUARRY.

Byline: Susan Abram Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA - Already invested in blocking the Cemex Inc. gravel quarry off Soledad Canyon Road, city officials are expected to declare formal opposition on Tuesday to another smaller quarry that they say also would result in adverse impacts on the community.

The 10-acre mine where Pacific Industrial Minerals owner John Heter intends to extract 150,000 tons of anorthosite annually for 20 years is on a 320-acre claim on Soledad Canyon Road.

Mining began on the claim in the 1950s, and its Arizona-based owners have rights to mine there under an 1872 mining law. Heter mined parts of the property for two decades until permits expired in 2000.

The businessman applied for Caspar Mine permits five years ago with the U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County, but city officials only learned of the plan in May. In a letter to the U.S. Forest Service, city officials called for analyzing the smaller mine's effects in conjunction with the proposed Cemex gravel mine nearby.

City officials say that in the last five years, much has changed in the area that would be affected should a mine begin operations.

``Much of the mine site that had been disturbed has been reclaimed by native vegetation,'' according to a recommendation made to the Santa Clarita City Council. ``Riparian habitat has been established along the river and both of the tributaries abutting the mine site.''

In addition, Santa Clarita's population has increased by 37,000 people since 2000.

The city has long fought a plan by Mexico-based Cemex to remove 56.1 million tons of sand and gravel in Soledad Canyon, on grounds it would worsen air quality, reduce water levels from wells and cause more traffic on area roads.

Heter has said he is working with state and federal environment protection agencies to help minimize the impacts and would truck in water to moisten the roads to hold down dust. Forest officials said the Caspar quarry could generate as many as 25 truckloads per day, five days a week.

Meanwhile, officials with the U.S. Forest Service said they are compiling comments and letters sent to them during a public comment period that ended earlier this month.

Susan Abram, (661) 257-5255

susan.abram(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 25, 2005
Words:379
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