PUBLISHED IN THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE ON SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2010
1. “Fact”: The Azusa Planning Commission recommended approval of this plan (March, 2010).
False. The Azusa Planning Commission approved the EIR, but rejected the Development Agreement which also resulted in the rejection of the revised Conditional Use Permit and New Reclamation Plan.
2. “Fact”: The proposed plan maintains mining at 190 acres at Azusa Rock-not one additional acre will be mined.
False. The proposed mining plan exchanges 60 untouched acres on the east side with 80 untouched acres on the west side, resulting in an expansion of mining at Azusa Rock.
3. “Fact”: The proposed plan will move mining to a less visible area on the property.
False. The proposed plan will be more visible to people west of the 605 Freeway, while remaining visible to those east of the 605 Freeway.
4. “Fact”: The proposed plan will immediately begin removing the large 40 foot benches on the east side and replace them with 1-2 foot benches. The plan will mandate concurrent reclamation with small benches on all future mined areas.
Maybe. In theory this is how it is supposed to work. However, micro-benching has never been done in mined areas. Vulcan claims that Cal Trans has done it adjacent to Freeways but under different soil conditions. In addition, there is an escape clause in the development agreement that allows Vulcan to get out of the micro-benching, simply by paying a small fine.
5. “Fact”: The proposed plan does not extend the mining timeline.
False. It is estimated that under the current plan, at 5 million tons per year, the mining would end in 2024. The proposed plan provides Vulcan an additional 55 million tons of material to mine, extending the mining until 2035.
6. “Fact”: The proposed plan has undergone an independent and comprehensive environmental and public review.
False. Lilburn, the environmental consultant, was hand chosen by Azusa City Staff, since no other qualified consulting firms were invited who were able to fulfill all the requirements of the project. Also, Lilburn officially list Vulcan Materials as one of their clients on their corporate website, an obvious conflict of interest.
7. “Fact”: The proposed plan meets all South Coast Air Quality Management District clean air standards.
Deceptive. Vulcan’s mining limit has been reduced from the maximum, because the clean air vehicles they promised to purchase have not been purchased. Until they comply with those standards, they will be forced to mine at a reduced rate. In addition, the SCAQMD has never sampled pollutants coming from the Azusa Rock Quarry. All monitoring has been upwind from the quarry. No downwind sampling has ever been done, so the SCAQMD has no idea what particulates and pollution are coming out of the mine.
8. “Fact”: The proposed plan mandates a reduction in the production limits from 10.8 million tons per year to 6 million tons per year.
Deceptive. The South Coast Air Quality Management District already limits conveyor traffic to 6 million tons/year. The ability to mine aggregate without the ability to move it does not constitute a reduction. Current production from the Azusa Rock Quarry has been averaging 1.1 million tons/year. If they increase production from this level to 6 million tons, it will result in a 550% increase in pollution, blasting, noise, etc.
9. “Fact”: The proposed plan will limit blasting at Azusa Rock.
Deceptive. Azusa Rock has been averaging only 20 blasts/year. Under the proposed plan, they will be allowed up to 100 blasts/year, a 500% increase over the current rate.
10. “Fact”: All materials are transported off-site via the onsite conveyor system only-no haul trucks are used.