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Please help save a sacred mountain in CA, it is on the pathway to Kings Canyon

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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 01:45 PM
Original message
Please help save a sacred mountain in CA, it is on the pathway to Kings Canyon
Edited on Sat Dec-05-09 01:50 PM by annm4peace

Time is running out. Write the County Superviors to halt Cemex Mining.

Where is Jesse Morrow Mountain?
Jesse Morrow Mountain is in Southeast Fresno County. It lies along the Blossom Trail north of and adjacent to the scenic King's Canyon Highway. It is the first mountain you encounter as you leave the valley on your way up to the Sierras and King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. It's majestic slopes, dotted with wildflowers in spring or golden grasses in summer and range cattle year round have been an inspiring sight for as long as human eyes have fallen on it.

What is all the fuss about mining Jesse Morrow Mountain?

Lots of reasons!

1. For starters, the mountain is a thing of rare beauty in an area who's natural assets are not well known. If this mine goes into operation, portions of Jesse Morrow Mountain will be blasted into gravel 100 days out of the year, the mined portion of the mountain will be lowered 400 feet in the initial phases, more thereafter, and light from the operation will light the skies all night long for 100 years.
2. The company that proposes to mine this mountain is Cemex, a giant Mexican corporation which does business in more than 50 countries worldwide and which has no interest in Fresno County except as a source of gravel. Cemex already has a very long list of air and water quality violations behind it in this country and, as of 12/31/05, was already operating 57 quarries in the US. A nation-wide alliance has formed in the US to halt the opening of new Cemex operations and the expansion of existing Cemex operations as a result of the company's record. Cemex has a reputation for paying fines rather than complying with local air and water quality standards.
3. Air pollution. Fresno County lags behind Federally mandated clean-up deadlines by 11 years and is applying for an extension based on the fact that problems with air quality in this area are so extreme. Area children already suffer asthma at roughly twice the national average Even a very conscientious gravel mining operation, and we do not think that includes Cemex, adds chemicals and particulates to the air. Gravel trucks taking materials to and from the mine will also contribute to fouling the air. Fresno air quality needs to get better - not worse.
4. Water use. San Joaquin Valley aquifers have been declining for decades and new surface water sources have not come in to replace the groundwater that's been lost. The Cemex mine proposes to pump 150,000 gallons per day. Two other gravel mining operations already operating within 3 1/2 miles of the proposed Cemex mine (Vulcan and Central Valley) have proposed to expand their operations. They will be pumping ground water as well. A fourth mine (Calaveras CMI), also planning to pump groundwater, is proposed to open within 3 1/2 miles of Cemex. The cumulative impact of all this pumping on the aquifer is unknown, but clearly headed in the wrong direction. Farming, the lifeblood of Fresno County may suffer.
5. Truck Traffic. The Cemex operation estimates that it will add 900 round trips by gravel trucks every day, beginning on King's Canyon Highway (Hwy 180) and then spreading out onto other roads. Each of the other local mining operations will put gravel trucks on the road as well. Together, the number of daily gravel truck trips is expected to be in the thousands. These trucks will be on the same roads as school busses, commuters and tourists on their way to the parks. It is easy to anticipate more accidents of a serious nature. At the very least, rocks and gravel kicked up from the roadway by these trucks can be expected to be hitting windshields at higher levels than present. Contact the Fresno County Planning Commission for details of the traffic plans for these mines.
6. Safety. Slow moving gravel trucks will be entering the road where cars and busses generally travel 60 miles an hour.

Here is a letter sent by one concerned citizen:

November 29, 2009

Biraz Sholars Planner II

Fresno County Public Works and Planning Division

Planning & Environmental Analysis

2220 Tulare Street 6th Floor

Fresno , CA 93721

Re: Jessie Morrow Mountain Mine & Reclamation Project

In my previous letter dated November 19, 2009. I stated that Cemex Inc. had already acquired many fines. I asked if you had evaluated its reputation before allowing this project to be implemented.

Since then I have done a small background check of my own, and found numerous fines for pollution and price fixing!

I am sure you are already aware of the fines, but thought it might be advantageous to refresh your memory.

1. The Monterrey, Mexico-based Company may have to pay fines of as much as $27,500 to $32,000 for each day since 1997 that the plant violated standards, according to court documents. The lawsuit was filled at the request of the Environmental Protection

Agency in the U.S. District Court in Colorado .

2.Building materials company Cemex Inc. Agreed to pay $40000 San Gabriel Valley in fines for the improper discharge of materials.

3.Cement firm and LA City, county settled on $4000,000

Cemex was imposed with a fine of $400,000 in fines for improper discharge of material at FIVE of its Southern California plants.

Cemex Incs cement kiln ran too hot, and emitted carcinogens for hundreds of hours in 2003 and 2005 leaving the company subject to thousands of dollars of fines.

This was only some of the fines incurred by Cemex Inc.

The second item I ran across involved Mexico . The Colombian anti-trust watchdog fined the Countrys three largest cement makers with $424.00 each for fixing prices in the second half of 2005. One of the three companies was a local unit of Mexico-based Cemex SA (CX).

Cemex Inc Corp Florida was also involved in a price fixing.

I am sure if you choose to look you could find many other cases of price fixing.

Back to the Colorado lawsuit:

The Colorado lawsuit adds to Cemexs troubles as the company attempts to refinance more than a third of its $16.4 billion net debt and fines and faces losses of $711 million while profits plummet on weak cement demands in the U.S. Mexico, Spain and the U.K.

The Court documents said the plant was expanded without permits or comments from the public, resulting in a violation of the Clean Air Act.

The company has also failed on about 116 occasions since January 2004 to shut the plant down when winds exceeded 30 miles per hour for a period of 60 minutes as required.

If you have seriously considered any or all of the statements made by myself, and others, I cannot understand why you would even consider this company for a one year lease let alone a 100 year lease.

If I am in error in any of my findings please advise.

As I sit here writing this letter all I can do is shake my head!

CC: Supervisors: Henry Perea, Judy Case, Phil Larson, Susan Anderson, Debbie Poochigian.

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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kick
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Makes me glad I don't live in Fresno anymore. What a fucking hellhole.
This won't help, but it's not as bad as the proposal sitting out there to build a nuke plant in the SJV.
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