(WASHINGTON, DC) –Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) sent a letter on Tuesday to Department of Interior Deputy Secretary Michael Conner urging him to take action in the immediate future that would prevent a large mining project in Soledad Canyon.
For over a decade, officials in the City of Santa Clarita have been attempting to block Cemex from breaking ground at a 460-acre aggregate mine adjacent to the Santa Clara River. Efforts at the local, state, and national level have all fallen short thus far, and Cemex recently announced that they would start mining as soon as possible.
“Preventing Cemex from mining in Soledad Canyon is a long-standing and complicated issue, and I understand that resolving it can’t happen overnight,” said Knight. “But time is running out and we must act now to ensure we reach a solution.”
Knight’s letter comes after the California State Director of the Bureau of Land Management corresponded with Cemex and stated that the company’s lack of diligence in obtaining necessary permits and authorizations makes cancellation of the mining development legally viable. Congressman Knight expressed his agreement with this position and stressed the importance of reaching a resolution on the issue in short order.
“There is no silver bullet that will solve this problem, but this letter certainly creates a path to a resolution in the immediate future,” continued Knight.
In addition to urging the Department of Interior to use its authority to cancel the mining contracts, Rep. Knight offered to pursue legislative action if necessary.