(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) reintroduced a bipartisan measure on Thursday that would prevent Cemex or any other company from mining in Soledad Canyon.
H.R. 1557, The Soledad Canyon Consistency Act, co-sponsored by nearby Representatives Judy Chu (CA-27), Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28), and Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30), would withdraw the mineral rights for land in the eastern portion of the Santa Clarita Valley, effectively blocking future mining projects in the area.
“We have been dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of our valley since our City incorporated 30 years ago. We thank Congressman Knight for his continued efforts and support on this matter,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste, who has been a leader on the CEMEX fight since its beginning. “Enactment of this legislation will preclude the Bureau of Land Management from being able to enter into new mining contracts for the site. The property sits on the edge of the pristine mountains of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and will facilitate its eventual use as a northern gateway entry into the national monument.”
The reintroduction is the latest in a long series of actions by Knight and other local leaders to thwart Cemex’s plan to mine in the Santa Clarita Valley. In his first term Knight worked with federal agencies and other stakeholders to block the project, and in August of 2015 the Bureau of Land Management cancelled the company’s mining contracts. As the cancellation decision works its way through a lengthy appeals process Knight vowed to pursue all available legislative and administrative avenues to prevent the mine, including the reintroduction of H.R. 1557.
“We are grateful for Congressman Knight’s unwavering commitment toward bringing the Soledad Canyon mining issue to an end,” said Santa Clarita Councilmember Bob Kellar. “This legislation will be the final action necessary to prevent large scale mining in Soledad Canyon. We expect the Bureau of Land Management’s decision will be upheld, resulting in a final administrative action to terminate the mining contracts with CEMEX.”
"Preventing Cemex from breaking ground on this mine is a top priority for me and many in our community," said Rep. Knight. “This bill will apply additional pressure and build momentum toward our goal of providing consistency, safety, and peace of mind to the people of the Santa Clarita Valley.”