Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ojai Crowds Santa Maria Truck Hearing

By Linda Harmon
Concerned residents of the Ojai Valley made a substantial impact at the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission’s first hearing on the Diamond Rock mining project Wednesday. The commission agreed to address problems with the submitted Environmental Impact Report before proceeding at its next meeting on July 11.
Ventura County 1st District Supervisor Steve Bennett voiced Ojai’s major reservations about a proposed solution which adds a condition to the mine’s Conditional Use Permit, banning its trucks from Highway 33 through the Ojai Valley. The commission’s staff said the ban, a reciprocal arrangement, would remain in effect unless Ventura County sent trucks through Santa Barbara County or a multi-county agreement is reached by Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.
“This ban can be revoked at any time by a revisit to the mine’s CUP by the Planning Commission,” said Bennett who sees it as a temporary and dangerous approach. He believes it is imperative that the EIR problems be addressed now so that, if the ban is lifted and the trucks are allowed, the impact will be judged by Ojai’s existing much stricter air quality standards.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very heartwarming to see the Cuyama coalition speak with conviction and
accuracy about impact, and of course
the Ojai showing was strong. That
this turnout was so big by mine opponents despite meeting location at farthest point away says
volumes more than proponent's
attorneys hired at $5oo hour. PL