Mining operations above Azusa a magnet for criticism

first_img He thinks they tried, but failed. “If you have a plan, why wouldn’t you show it to the public?” Nevins said. “If you’re so confident you can make that mountain look exactly like it did before you tear it down, why not show us? Show me the restoration.” Azusa officials hired Greystone Environmental consultants to review Vulcan’s revegetation plan. “The city wasn’t asking Greystone about permitting, but to review our plan to make sure it’s a good plan … and everything Vulcan says it is. And, Greystone said it was,” Cortner said. Vulcan owns about 350 acres between the Azusa Rock quarry and its Reliance pit at Foothill Boulevard and Irwindale Avenue. Both pits are in close proximity. They want to expand mining operations from Fish Canyon to the top of Van Tassel Ridge in the San Gabriel Mountains. The original reclamation plan, circa 1988, is a valid and legal one, Cortner said. “In 1988, reclamation was a lot different than it is in 2005. The technology has changed, there are new ways to do things, scientists know how to reclaim better,” he added. Currently the mountain, visible from the freeway, has benchmarks on the side. Native vegetation was not required back then as it is now. The proposed reclamation plan calls for grading those benches to mimic the natural background and incorporates reclamation during the mining process instead of at the end as indicated in the current plan, Cortner said. “When you are all done, it looks like it wasn’t mined. Vegetation has already taken hold and is mature at the end of mining on the top (of the mountain),” Cortner said. “It’s a fundamental approach indicative of the times.” Community members have said Vulcan is not in compliance with its reclamation plan; Cortner disagrees. He said Vulcan has legitimate operations, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on sweepers that clean the streets dozens of times in a day. He also said there won’t be any truck traffic coming out of the Azusa Rock pit, since the mined rock will be placed on a conveyor belt, transported to the Reliance Plant and crushed into sand and gravel. “The realization came to me (recently) that people just don’t understand,” Cortner said. “The current reclamation plan doesn’t speak to the restoration of Fish Canyon, but the new one includes a total restoration.” — Marianne Love can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108, or by e-mail at [email protected] AZUSA — The proposed expansion of Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa rock mine has come under fire over dust and traffic, and now the company finds itself defending its plan to restore the land –even before the plan is complete. A company spokesman says there’s a lot of misinformation floating in the community about a proposal to mine and revegetate 80 acres in the foothills above Azusa. Steve Cortner, vice president of resources, said a draft reclamation plan is expected to be submitted to the city in November, along with an application to expand mining the operations at the quarry. The proposal incorporates the latest technology and is consistent with Azusa’s regulations, he said. “There’s a lot of prejudging on a project before anyone has even seen it,” Cortner said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Residents in Azusa and neighboring Duarte have spoken in public stressing their opposition to the expansion. They oppose Azusa city officials approving Vulcan’s plan to expand its Azusa Rock mine. They say the company is responsible for “ugly scars” –cut into the mountains near the Foothill (210) and San Gabriel River (605) freeway exchange –that can be seen throughout most of the area. Residents say the mining operation not only devalues their property, it is a threat to their health and the dust pollution makes them sick. Some say revegetation efforts haven’t worked in the past. Ryan Nevins, a member of San Van Tassel Ridge, a grass-roots group of Azusa and Duarte residents formed in opposition of expansion plans, said seeing is believing. Nevins, a Duarte resident, said Vulcan has known for years they wanted to expand and should have used that time to revegetate the mountains so people could see the results.center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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