Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) is continuing his fight to prevent CEMEX from breaking ground on an aggregate mine in the Santa Clarita Valley.
He has a new tactic. Knight led recently a bipartisan effort to prevent the groundbreaking by sending a letter to Lieutenant Gen. Thomas Bostick, commanding general and chief of engineers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging the agency to deny CEMEX the necessary permits to move forward with the mine. Democratic lawmakers Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30), who have opposed the mine in the past, also signed on to the letter. CEMEX is a Mexican multinational building materials company.
“CEMEX has failed to comply with state and federal law, and must not be permitted to move forward with a mine in Soledad Canyon,” Knight stated. “This message makes this abundantly clear and I am excited that my colleagues are joining me in reaffirming this fact.”
Knight’s letter is the latest in a string of correspondence between various elected officials, government agencies and stakeholders who have expressed doubts that CEMEX can proceed with the development. Knight’s correspondence reportedly included specific reasons for the U.S. Army Crop. of Engineers to deny CEMEX a permit, citing specifically the firm’s failure to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act and possible negative consequences the mine would have on local protected animals and plant species.
“I will explore and exhaust every available avenue to prevent this mine and the devastating effects it will have on our community,” Knight stated.
Knight was elected last year out of the Antelope Valley. His congressional district also includes the Santa Clarita and Simi valleys.