Wilk's 'Plan B' to delay CEMEX mine passes through committee

SACRAMENTO –Today, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, presented Assembly Bill 1986,

a measure to allow the public, for the first time, to provide comments on the CEMEX Mega-Mine project through a protest period run at the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) water permit application process. AB 1986 was heard and passed 12-2 in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

“AB 1986 ensures we have a 'Plan B' to preserve our community's quality of life and allow the public to weigh in on the project,” Wilk said. “With the severe drought facing California, the dynamics of water availability in the region have changed significantly over the past 25 years since the initial application – it's time our policy reflected that reality.”

CEMEX's current water permit was filed in 1991, making it 25 years old, and was never rendered a verdict. Reopening the protest period would enable community members and legislators to voice their concerns about the proposed CEMEX mega-mine in Santa Clarita.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it had cancelled CEMEX's mining contracts last August as a result of pressure from Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and California's two U.S. Senators. However, CEMEX appealed the decision and it could take as long as two years to get a final verdict.

AB 1986 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.