Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ojai Gravel Mine EIR Disputed

By Nao Braverman
The most recent environmental impact report for the new Diamond Rock mine claims that increased traffic from gravel trucks will not significantly impact the quality of life in Ojai.
To the dismay of members of the local Committee to Stop the Trucks, the EIR, released on May 15, also states that there will be no traffic impacts if travel is not allowed during rush hour, there will be no safety impacts regarding school travel, no noise impacts, and no significant impact on air quality in Ventura County.
Michael Shapiro and Howard Smith, two active members of the local Stop the Trucks Coalition stood in front of an audience of about 160 people packed into the Chaparral Auditorium on May 15.
Holding opposite ends of two pieces of rope, they stretched them out for the audience to see. One was measured to the length of two average size, modern day gravel trucks, the other was the exact width of a tunnel along Highway 33. They were about the same.
“There is no way that two trucks going opposite directions could fit through that tunnel at once without hitting each other,” explained Smith.
Road safety is just one of the many concerns that committee members have regarding the increasing truck traffic.
They are also worried about the impact that more diesel trucks would have on the valley’s air quality, student safety, and, in turn, the local economy.
Though the project’s draft EIR identifies a significant and unavoidable impact on Ojai’s quality of life, the final EIR states that the quality of life impact will be less than significant.
Committee members disagree.
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Anonymous said...

If whoever wrote that EIR had all 400 of those trucks, or even 100 of those trucks travel down their street each day, I'm sure they would believe that this traffic was creating a major negative impact on their quality of life.

There needs to be a lawsuit to challenge the EIR, and the person who wrote it needs to have their credentials examined under a strong bright light.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a lawsuit is the only language truly understood here. Lots of qualifying statements made by city manager and city attorney at council meeting concerning statutes, latitude of county jurisdictions, and 30 day response limits. Didn't CALTRANS find Hwy 33 unfit for multiple truck traffic? I observed city attorney and Supervisor Bennet conferring after- gives pause to think, because of huge money involved in mining often wins out over citizen dissent. Hate to sound like the sky is falling, but concerning government descions this often is the case. PL

Ross Perot said...

PL: The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me that we must have this discussion in the first place. Anyone who has cruised Hwy. 33 can clearly see that the intent and design of Hwy. 33 was for cars and trucks of a different Era. There is no reconciling the traversing of Hwy. 33 by these massive double trailer trucks. Make the Quarry operation use only single bed dump trucks. It might be costlier, but then, safety would improve and how much is that worth.

These quarry operations are planned for years to come. It's time to modify the their operation. For too long, the people of Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern Counties have had to accept trade offs at their expense only. It's time for Quarry operators to accept some trade offs at their expense. Single bed dump trucks.

Dana Wilson