Southern California and national associations cite need to alleviate building materials shortages
CEMEX, Inc. (NYSE: CX) today announced that six transportation and building materials organizations have filed "friend of the court" legal briefs with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the settlement agreement and consent decree signed by CEMEX, the County of Los Angeles, and the United States Government. The settlement agreement allows CEMEX's Soledad Canyon Sand and Gravel Mining Project to move forward with Los Angeles County approvals after years of environmental review.
Similarly, in support of their amicus brief, the Southern California Rock Products Association and the California Mining Association who together represent virtually every major construction material and mining company in California cited the material supply shortages facing aggregate producers and society at large, and emphasized that the Consent Decree properly "balances the reality of federal preemption with the County's local environmental concerns." These two groups also emphasized that the "Consent Decree affords the County more environmental regulatory control over the project than the County otherwise would have" had CEMEX's case against the County been litigated to conclusion.
The American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Portland Cement Association, American Pavement Association, and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association representing thousands of transportation and construction materials companies, transportation public officials, contractors, safety product manufacturers, planning and design firms across the nation filed an amicus brief last week asserting that, if successful, the "challenges to the Consent Decree could frustrate the environmentally prudent production" of "locally available sand, gravel, crushed stone, aggregates, other mined products, and cement essential components used in building, rehabilitating and expanding the nation's infrastructure".
The Consent Decree had been appealed to the Ninth Circuit by the City of Santa Clarita. CEMEX, the County, and the United States have already filed legal briefs to the Ninth Circuit opposing Santa Clarita's appeal. "We are pleased to receive this unusually broad level of support from all sectors of the transportation and building materials communities both local, state, and national not only for our project, but also in support for the rights of parties to settle time consuming and costly litigation in a manner that is fair to all concerned parties," said Steve Wise, CEMEX Executive Vice-President of Ready Mix and Aggregates.
As part of the settlement agreement, CEMEX, Inc. has agreed to provide numerous community benefits not required under federal or county regulations, including prohibiting operations on the north side of the site that faces the Antelope Valley Freeway; paying for a county compliance monitor; contributing $1.5 million to an open space and air quality fund; contributing $275 thousand to a clean school bus program; creating a community advisory committee that will periodically review the project and limitations on project truck traffic.
CEMEX is a leading global producer and marketer of cement and ready-mix products, with operations concentrated in the world's most dynamic cement markets across four continents. CEMEX combines a deep knowledge of the local markets with its global network and information technology systems to provide world-class products and services to its customers, from individual homebuilders to large industrial contractors. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.