Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2013  
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Introduces Legislation to End Mining Leases in Soledad Canyon  

Bill Would Address Community Concerns About Effects of Open-Pit Sand and Gravel Mining

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced the Soledad Canyon Settlement Act, legislation that would resolve a two decade-long mining dispute between the City of Santa Clarita and CEMEX USA by requiring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to cancel current mining contracts in Soledad Canyon and prohibit future mining at this site.

Senator Boxer said, “This legislation is a sensible solution that would resolve this decades-long dispute and protect the people of the Santa Clarita Valley from the pollution and traffic congestion that would result from a massive mining operation in Soledad Canyon.”

In 2007, the City of Santa Clarita and CEMEX USA announced that they would seek a compromise agreement that would avoid mining in Soledad Canyon while compensating CEMEX USA for the value of the mining contracts.

Boxer’s bill, which has the strong support of Santa Clarita officials, would implement a balanced solution. The bill directs the BLM to cancel CEMEX USA’s sand and gravel mining leases at Soledad Canyon and withdraw this site from future mining. The bill calls for the BLM to sell lands near Victorville, California that have already been identified for disposal and use the proceeds to compensate CEMEX USA for the canceled contracts.

Senator Boxer previously introduced similar legislation in the 111th and 112th Congresses.