Senate approves Wilk bill to combat CEMEX mine project

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, presents SB 520 on the floor of the California state Senate on Thursday, April 29, 2021. Photo by Lorie Shelley.

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Thursday his bill, Senate Bill 520, received the unanimous support of the state Senate. SB 520 would give the public the opportunity to weigh in before the CEMEX sand and gravel mine can proceed. 

“The proposed CEMEX mega-mine at Soledad Canyon Road and the 14 Freeway would be the second-largest aggregate mine in America,” said Wilk. “The project didn’t make sense in 1991, and less so today. The people ought to have a right to petition their government and SB 520 would achieve this.” 

Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, co-authored the bill, which would provide the public an opportunity to weigh in on large mining projects whose water-appropriation permit applications were filed with the State Water Resources Control Board more than 30 years ago, before the board makes a final determination on the application. This includes the planned CEMEX mine in the Santa Clarita Valley, which has been subject of decades of ongoing litigation and local community opposition. 

“This project has gone 30 years and our community has grown exponentially since we first rejected this mine,” said Valladares. “The people who will be most impacted by this should have a say. The voices of our families and businesses need to be heard, and the SCV and surrounding communities are now one step closer to getting that opportunity. I look forward to seeing this bill in the Assembly.” 

SB 520 previously passed unanimously out of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, where Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste testified in support, as well as the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it was keyed as having minimal and absorbable costs to the state.  

The bill will now move to the state Assembly, where it will be referred to the appropriate Assembly policy and fiscal committees in the coming weeks. 

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