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Wednesday, 13 August 2008 02:06

Jackson Valley Quarry Requests “Emergency Status”

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slide8.pngA request by representatives of the George Reed, Incorporated/ Jackson Valley Quarry to approve emergency status in order to bypass CEQA requirements and expand operations met a mixed response at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. Speaking on behalf of the Quarry employees, representative Steve Lopez outlined the company’s need for emergency status approval, as urged by Governor Schwarzenegger in order to help provide materials for the continuing construction and repair of the Sacramento Delta. One employee referred to the repairs on the delta as a way to prevent a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina. The permission requested would essentially allow the company to expand its excavation operations onto new acreage and increase its output from the current limitation of 500,000 tons per year to 1,200,000 tons.

In a letter to Planning Director Susan Grijalva, Jackson Quarry representative Jeff Welch stated that “an increased haul-out allowance…(could) compensate for…projects going out to bid that could potentially require more material this year than initially anticipated.” The company also requested to be allowed to operate on Saturdays when needed. slide11.pngLopez said the company is facing tough times, and without expansion, could be forced to cutback on “tax paying employees, many of whom have families and pension plans.” But according to Nate Lishman, who spoke on behalf of the Planning Department, this would be the third consecutive year that such a request has been made. During public comment, a number of concerned citizens questioned the wisdom in granting such a request and asked for a definition as to what actually constitutes a “state of emergency” - for which there was no definitive answer. One resident who lives close to the Quarry complained about “earthquake-like” tremors. The Board requested seismic impact information from Jackson Quarry representatives. Furthermore, Supervisor Richard Forster recommended postponing the item until next week’s agenda in order to allow the public time to review all the documents involved, as is required under the Brown Act.

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