RE: 'I-15 corridor destined for increased traffic' [Village News, 4/26/07]
Last updated 5/10/2007 at Noon
SANDAG planners have been in charge for nearly 30 years, so I don’t know what Mr. Bonelli is laughing about. Suppose only rail lines had been installed and travel time and inflexibility so bad most would have stayed close to city core. Imagine the house prices if you think the current ones are high!
I read your article with regard to Granite Construction’s proposed Liberty Quarry, and in it is the claims, among other incredulous claims, presence of the Liberty Quarry would save taxpayers $32 million: 1. in reduced air quality mitigation and highway maintenance costs, and 2. bring much money to the local economy.
Now, it may be reasonable to assume that the local economy would see some monies trickling down from those monumental corporate profits and executive bonuses, but I wish you would explain to your readers just how day-and-night blasting, profusions of silicone dust spreading silicosis among residents, noise, light, a 1,440-a-day increase in truck traffic, air pollution and other serious environmental hazards to humans, animals, plant life and water would be mitigated by the quarry’s presence.
Why didn’t you also tell your readers that these statements came from a recent report by John Husing, economist, hired and paid for by Granite Construction? With regard to their pumping money into our economy, the question has to be: Is the money they make worth the price that we pay? The answer is no.
John Husing’s economic impact study of Liberty Quarry is merely a speculative theory based on selected assumptions, and some glaring omissions, and therefore should not be considered “factual.”
If the premises omit specific criteria, the logic becomes skewed. No matter how impressive the results, if the logic is wrong, the conclusions are wrong. When quoted, this study should always be prefaced with “Husing, hired and paid by Granite Construction.” Many of the “facts” for this report were supplied by Granite.
Some other “facts” to consider:
Gary Johnson’s press release, July 17, 2006 – “Liberty Quarry Cleaner than Redhawk and De Luz,” based on Kleinfelder, Inc.’s draft study (hired and paid for by Granite): Quarry would reflect a negative 15 tons of net smog causing nitrogen oxide emissions. (How can you have a minus-zero effect? In reality, Temecula/Fallbrook becomes the hub of all NOx secreted by 1,600 daily additional truck trips.)
Liberty Quarry Project Geologic Summary Report and Supporting Geologic Data, June 12, 2006, compiled by Granite Construction and submitted to State Mining and Geology Board for MRZ Classification: “Section 1, Introduction: The Liberty Aggregate Project is located approximately 4 miles south of Temecula, CA and 17 miles north of Escondido, CA near the town of Rainbow in Riverside County.” (Has the county line changed?)
Liberty Quarry would be the nation’s largest hard rock, open pit mine of its type. There are no “facts.” Real facts can only be determined after a quarry is in operation and, unfortunately, several years later for health/environmental ramifications.
Patty McCormac did a thorough, well-written article about the Interstate 15 corridor. It was well researched, covering many issues… a bleak future?
The “John Husing Study,” which was commissioned and paid for by Granite, erroneously claims the proposed quarry would “save $32,000,000 in reduced air quality mitigation and highway maintenance costs.” A quarry in our “midst” would add horrendous amounts of cancer-causing diesel exhaust and dangerous silica dust from the 1,600 truck trips added to I-15.
Highway maintenance? Consider the damage to our roadways from these additional gravel trucks. The study says the quarry will “erase 16.5 million truck miles from Riverside County roads.” Does this mean all these truck trips will be going south only? Does Granite believe we are dense? Can Granite predict the job flow for the next two years, much less the next seventy-five?
There is a saying: “Tell someone something often enough and they will start to believe it.” Don’t count on it.
The study states, “Shortages of sand and gravel will cause residents to ‘do without’ facilities that support their lifestyles.” Do they mean, perhaps, our homes, which will drop substantially in value?
State geologist John Parrish stated, “We are not running short of rock but we are short of permitted supplies. The solution would be [to] import more materials; otherwise, quarries will be built next to communities like Fallbrook.”
Another fact to contemplate: Granite Construction will not own the trucks; they will be contracted. What control will they have over the condition and maintenance of these trucks?
This is all “smoke and mirrors,” folks. The proposed quarry just does not belong here. There are no benefits to Rainbow, Fallbrook or Temecula.
We do not want the “gateway” to our counties to be a strip mine.