No on Newman Ridge! Important Public Hearing Tuesday March 24th, 1:30 pm

Don’t know how many Trenchers live in the area, but I thought I’d pass it along.

Ione Valley Land, Air & Water Defense Alliance

Tuesday, March 24th, at 1:30 pm, there is a Public Hearing at the County Center, 810 Court Street, Jackson, with the Amador Board of Supervisors to hear from all interested parties any objections to the project. The County has issued a response to the EIR, which ignores the environmental issues that the people of Amador County are so concerned about, despite the 545 signatures and 45+ letters from local citizens opposing the projects, in addition to the State and local Agency objections. The EIR response ignores all issues and offers the people of Amador County no mitigation for traffic congestion, toxic air pollution, wastewater and runoff, groundwater usage or biological resources devastation. The Quarry and Asphalt plant plans do not comply with local air or water rules.

The project does not present any documented financial justification or a bond for reclamation. It is clear the County means to approve the projects despite the very strong opposition from the same people that will be severely and significantly impacted for the next 50 years, both in the Ione Valley and for all of Amador County…unless we show up and voice our concerns! Please come to the meeting to be heard. Your voice is important! 

The Ione Valley Land, Air & Water Defense Alliance (LAWDA) is dedicated to opposing a 50-year plan for Newman Ridge Quarry, a 278-acre strip mine and Edwin Center North, a 114-acre hot asphalt and cement plant, on land in Amador County owned by the San Francisco hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, founded by a political “environmentalist ” Tom Steyer

The land is part of an 11,000 acre historic ranch, prized for open grassland grazing, threatened wildlife, seasonal wetlands, raptors, rare plants and self-regenerating California oak trees, complete with scenic views of the SierrasThese projects could deprive Amador County citizens permanently of their health, air quality, rural way of life, abundance and quality of water in the Ione Valley. Currently, Amador County is considering a new plan for the Quarry and Asphalt Plant that would allow hundreds of gravel and asphalt trucks per day through the five block town of Ione. In addition, railroad train of 80 cars would block both Highway 104 and Ione-Michigan Bar Road for, which are the main roads to Sacramento and Galt.

The project would create huge amounts of dangerous air pollution, greenhouse gas producing toxins, dangerous concentrations of PM 2.5, PM 10 and NOX, noise, depletion of local groundwater, destruction of cultural grounds and open space, along with other serious environmental issues.  Map and Video below show the actual areas:

In 2012, we tried to stop this at local government level, but despite hundreds of protests, the Projects were approved by the Amador Board of Supervisors. Ione Valley LAWDA had no recourse except to file a lawsuit on behalf of all the local ranchers, farmers and citizens of the Ione Valley.

On February 12, 2014: the Amador Superior Court  ruled in favor of the Ione Valley Land, Air and Water Defense Alliance’s petition to STOP the Newman Ridge Quarry and Edwin Center North Asphalt Plant. The Court cited major misinformation and discrepancies  in the Traffic and Railway sections of the Environmental  Impact Report (EIR) which deprived the Public crucial knowledge, and the ability to comment or object, to the Projects. Following Court orders, the Amador County Board of Supervisors de-certified the EIR and returned the zoning to agricultural use. More info on the LAWDA Legal Documents page of this website, including the entire Writ from the Court.

But now they are at it again (see What You Can Do tab on this website.) Come to the Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 24th at 1:30 pm. Why? This project will end the peace and rural way of life in our Valley, and turn in into an Asphalt and Quarry nightmare full of toxic dust, fumes and noise. The business model for this project has never been proven. The job numbers are inflated and proven to be false. There is a 60-year Quarry further East – approved to expand – now fulfilling all needs, including new jobs.

These new “Newman Ridge” projects will damage established ranchers and farmers within a 5 mile radius by destroying our Valley with hundreds of gravel and asphalt trucks roaring through town. The trains will block both access roads to Sacramento. Their wells will drain the groundwater, the blasting will release air toxins dangerous for crops, cattle and human health. The projects could irreversibly destroy a pristine area that could be conserved and utilized as a new Nature park, for hiking and riding, adding to the value of County, and could bring new tourist revenue to Ione. We must stop these senseless Projects now, forever. But you must act now. Details on What You Can Do tab!

Take a moment to review our choices – our homes, our families will suffer, the air we breathe, our health, the roads we travel, the sights we see every day, the wildlife we appreciate, the water we need and all the reasons we currently enjoy life in the Ione Valley… are at stake here. Below are video testimonials of people who have lived through this.

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