Santa Fe Aggregates expansion blocked

Santa Fe Aggregates in California received a surprise set back after asking for a minor modification of its permit in order to mine 20 acres currently used to store heavy equipment and gravel.

The 20 acres are contiguous with the current mine and included in the reclamation plan.  But what was expected to be a routine vote to amend a mining permit turned into heated public hearing at the June 22 Tulare County Planning Commission  meeting.

The commission voted 5-4 not to approve the modification of the Kaweah River Rock mining permit.

Chuck Przybylski, project planner for Tulare County Resource Management Agency made the presentation to the commission and said  Santa Fe Aggregates was asking for a minor modification of itspermit to mine 20 acres currently used to store heavy equipment and gravel.

The 20 acres are contiguous with the current mine and included in the reclamation plan. The parcel is scheduled to be returned to irrigated pasture during the reclamation process.

The company’s motivation for adding the acreage was to extend the life of the mine. Doug Reynolds, general manager of Santa Fe Aggregates, said that it could mine for three to five more years if the modification was approved.

Public opposition has conflated old problems at the Stillwell and Lemon Cove sites operated by Cemex but which border Sanhta Fe’s site with its application.

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