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Oversight Coalition reaches settlement with Vulcan

The Madera Oversight Coalition and Vulcan Materials Company Western Division have reached a settlement agreement regarding the Austin Quarry project located in Madera County.
The Madera Oversight Coalition and Vulcan Materials Company Western Division have reached a settlement agreement regarding the Austin Quarry project located in Madera County. File Photo

Madera Oversight Coalition, CalMat Co. dba Vulcan Materials Company Western Division, and property owner Michael William Urrutia have reached a settlement agreement regarding the Austin Quarry project located in Madera County.

Since 2006, Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC) has an advocate for Madera County citizens in matters regarding development in the county. MOC’s primary objective is to encourage responsible growth through adherence to California Land Use Law and the Madera County General Plan, and to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public within Madera County.

The organization’s role in monitoring the transparency of the approval process for proposed projects entails taking legal action against the county and the developer when the project or the process itself violates local and/or state laws, or has a substantial negative impact on the surrounding community.

In the case of the Austin Quarry, Madera County approved the project in spite of MOC’s position, supported by state-certified hydrologists and geohydrologists, that the quarry could cause significant impacts to the wells of the nearby Madera Ranchos community. As a result, MOC filed a lawsuit against both the county and the developer.

MOC was represented by attorneys David Hale, Lee Smith, and David Doyle.

After months of negotiations between the involved parties, a settlement agreement was reached that will aid in relieving potential impacts to the local community. The settlement establishes the following:

Water fund: Payment to a third party administrator of $3.1 million to assist homeowners in the five-mile study area of the project to remedy potential future problems with groundwater wells. Monies to be put into an account at the rate of $103,333.00 per year for 30 years for a total of $3,099,990.

Traffic caps: To ease traffic impacts, maximum aggregate tonnages shipped from the project are as follows:

a. 1.5 million tons per year until July 1, 2023, as stated in the Madera County Condition of Approval.

b. 2.0 million tons per year until July 1, 2023 to July 1, 2029. For this six-year period, the traffic cap exceptions shall include projects involving Highway 41, Highway 145, and/or High Speed Rail.

c. After July 1, 2029 the cap expires and reverts to the Conditional Use Permit limit of 2.5 million tons per year.

Air quality: Vulcan agrees to work with MOC to negotiate a proposal with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, in which the funds for the Voluntary Emission Reduction Agreement (VERA) - approximately $650,000 - envisioned for the project’s EIR mitigation measures be spent within Madera County east of Highway 99.

Madera Oversight Coalition

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