|Club appeals expansion of Davenport cement plant
RMC Pacific Materials in Davenport claims that production of an additional 105,000
tons of cement per year will cause no impact on our coastal resources. The Sierra
Club is not so sure. RMC has presented no data to support their contention that
this 12% increase in production will have no adverse consequences for the environment.
the Coastal Commission!
The RMC cement plant is located in an environmentally sensitive area, adjacent
to the San Vicente Creek watershed and surrounded by Coast Dairies public land.
When the Santa Cruz County Supervisors approved the increased production in 2002,
the Club appealed the decision to the Coastal Commission asking them to take jurisdiction.
The Coastal Commission staff recommended that the Commission take jurisdiction
at its January hearing.
However, at that meeting in Los Angeles, the Commission agreed to continue the
appeal to a date as yet unscheduled, because RMC, through its attorney, stated
that further information was still available in Santa Cruz County files, and that
once the Commission reviewed this material, the Commission would agree that there
was no need to take jurisdiction of the project. Although the Sierra Club does
agree that review of pertinent information is advisable, the Club also does not
wish to see this appeal get derailed through stalling.
RMC claims that its proposal for an increase in cement production is exempt from
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review because it is
an existing facility. However, the Existing Facilities exemption only applies
if the facility is not expanding its existing use. In this case RMC is expanding
its existing use by a significant amount, and the proposal should be subject to
further environmental review under CEQA.
No water availability studies have been conducted on nearby San Vicente Creek
for further withdrawal of water by RMC, even though this creek has been designated
in the Santa Cruz County General Plan as a creek already used at full capacity,
and has been determined by the California Department of Fish and Game as an endangered
coho salmon spawning stream.
No study has been conducted to assess the cumulative, growth-inducing impact of
all relevant RMC permits (there are other RMC permits in progress, including a
quarry expansion permit and a permit to expand the plant by building a dome).
RMC is out of compliance with its base coastal permit, having never conducted
a complete review of its cement plant operations, due in 1995.
How you can help
- Watch for news about this expansion in the media. It is likely action will
be taken before the next Ventana goes to press.
- Write the Coastal Commission urging it to take jurisdiction of this project.
California Coastal Commission, 725 Front Street, Suite 300, Santa Cruz, California
95060. Refer to Appeal A-3-SCO-02-088 in your letter.
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