Opinion » Letters

No, we don't need this mine

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This is response to Mr. Bob Fowler's letter of Sept. 5, “This is the right project”:

Mr. Fowler’s letter summarized the attitude of the mining industry and Las Pilitas Resources LLC while failing to acknowledge the significant impacts, potentially insurmountable site constraints, and land-use incompatibilities with surrounding residential uses.

In stark contrast, existing quarries within the same mineral resource area are surrounded entirely by very large non-residential parcels. Existing quarries are also sitting on significant additional resources not accounted for in CGS SR-215 because they are not part of their currently permitted reserves.

The State Mining and Geology Board states; “To avoid dictating to local communities where future aggregate mines should be located, mineral designated areas generally contain resources (un-permitted deposits) that are far in excess of the region’s 50-year demand. This attempts to provide maximum flexibility to local governments in making land use decisions, while still conserving an adequate amount of construction aggregate for the future.”

Subtracting “anticipated” need of the entire San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara Pacific Coast region for the next 50 years (263 million tons) from the estimated 10,700 million tons of resources identified in this Pacific Coast region leaves a surplus of 10,437 million tons. This would not indicate a need to permit mines that are less than suitably sited. Based on the required findings, it may rightly be determined that this is “the wrong project in the wrong location.” The applicants surely must have been aware of this when they applied for a site specific discretionary permit (can be approved or denied) on such an ill-suited site.

-- Rayleen Wight - Santa Margarita

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