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Press
Humboldt County supervisors delay vote on Halvorsen Quarry appeal
Written by Will Houston, Times-Standard   

12/11/13

The Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to delay a vote on an appeal of the proposed Halvorsen Quarry Reclamation Plan until Jan. 6 and directed staff to gather more information on several issues.

 

The appeal made by California Trout North Coast manager Darren Mierau and Humboldt Baykeeper in May requested that the plan require a complete erosion and sediment strategy, publicly available independent water testing in Rocky Creek, documentation of appropriated water permits, specified protections for bald eagles and revisions to the plan's Mitigated Negative Declaration.

 

A staff report from the Planning and Building Department's Planning Division recommended that the board approve the request to include an erosion [sic] independent water testing, but reject the other three.

 

First District Supervisor Rex Bohn made a motion to deny the appeal in its entirety, but withdrew it after other supervisors expressed the need for more information.

 

Though some of the appeal's recommendations were left out, Mierau said the plan has “dramatically improved.”

 

Humboldt Baykeeper policy director Jennifer Kalt said the requests are not an effort to shut down the quarry.

 

”We're trying to ensure that the proper permits are in place and the proper steps are taken,” she said.

 

The reclamation plan for the quarry states that it has been mined intermittently since the 1940s, with future phases including the stripping of topsoil, drilling exposed rock and blasting. All surface water in the quarry is diverted to a series of settlement ponds that capture sediment and debris run-off.

 

Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace said that the meeting was “clouded” with information that was irrelevant to the issue.

 

”I didn't hear any different evidence as to why we should deny those recommendations made by the staff,” Lovelace said.

 

Read Original Article

 
Humboldt County supervisors to vote on Halvorsen Quarry appeals
Written by Lorna Rodriguez and Catherine Wong, Times-Standard   

12/8/13


The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will hold a public hearing on appeals made by local environmental groups to county staff's approval of the proposed Halvorsen Quarry Reclamation Plan.

 

According to a county report, Planning and Building Department staff recommend that the board reject three of five appeals that were made by Humboldt Baykeeper and California Trout following the plan's approval by the county Planning Commission in a 6-1 vote in May.

 

”We believe the plan is not adequate to protect the coho salmon habitat in the stream,” Humboldt Baykeeper Policy Director Jennifer Kalt said.

 

The Halvorsen Quarry, currently owned by Eureka business Ryan Schneider Construction, is located along Rocky Creek Road near Bayside. According to the proposed plan, the site has been mined intermittently since at least the 1940s, and future phases include stripping topsoil, drilling exposed rock and blasting. All surface water is diverted to a series of settlement ponds that capture sediment and debris run-off.

 

The appeals request that the plan include a complete erosion and sediment strategy, publicly available independent water testing in Rocky Creek, documentation of appropriated water permits, specified protections for bald eagles and revisions to the Mitigated Negative Declaration.

 

”We're not trying to shut down the quarry,” Kalt said. “The rock from the quarry can be used to reinforce dirt roads which prevents other sediment from getting into streams.”

 

While staff recommend that the board approve the request to include an erosion strategy and independent water testing, a county report states that documentation of water quality permits and protections for threatened or endangered birds have been included in the county's revised Conditions of Approval. It also states that staff recommend denying the appeal to revise the Mitigated Negative Declaration because ,”no new significant impacts have been identified.”

 

The groups argue the Mitigated Negative Declaration -- a legal statement that no significant effects on the environment will occur -- cannot be certified because it does not account for mitigating impacts to water quality.

 

County staff argue that impacts would normally be mitigated by a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, but one is not required in this case because the mine is operated for personal use, not commercial.

 

At the Oct. 1 public hearing, county counsel and planning staff asked for more time to review information sent by the North Coast Regional Water Control Board less than a day before, saying they would need a minimum of two weeks to look it over.

 

The board voted to continue the hearing, but set a deadline of Oct. 31 for parties to submit any more information.

 

In a letter dated Nov. 20, the Humboldt Baykeeper Executive Director Jessica Hall and California Trout North Coast Manager Darren Mierau state that Schneider is making commercial sales.

 

Kalt said Bayside residents photographed trucks from Arcata's Alves Inc. entering and leaving the quarry on Nov. 1 and Nov. 4. The photographs were forwarded to the county with the letter.

 

According to a supplemental information packet attached to the board's online agenda, Ryan Schneider responded to the letter via email on Nov. 21. On Nov. 25, the county Planning Division sent a letter requesting a formal response, which was received a day later.

 

The email, the county letter and response were not made available online by the Times-Standard deadline.

 

Read Original Article

 
Caltrans is main barrier to billboard removal
Written by 

Jennifer Kalt for the Times Standard   

MY WORD

12/3/13


The Coastal Commis­sion’s Sept. 12 deci­sion to give the go ahead for Caltrans’ 101 Safe­ty Corridor Project requires removal of all billboards along the bay shore between Eureka and Arcata. Shortly after, CBS Outdoor — the company that owns these billboards — had its attor­neys threaten legal action if billboard removal doesn’t come with a big payoff. Now Caltrans is trying to claim it will be too costly to remove the billboards (“Sticker shock,” Times-Standard, Nov. 23, Page A1). There’s more to the story than what Caltrans tells us.

Read more...
 
Billboard Company Unleashes Lawyers Who Use Big Words
Written by Ryan Burns, North Coast Journal   

11/11/13

Looks like the company that owns all those billboards between Arcata and Eureka just recently found out that the Coastal Commission wants them all torn down. It's response? "You can't make us!"




That's a rough translation of the comically wordy lawyer-speak contained in a letter from attorney Anthony M. Leones of Miller Starr Regalia on behalf of CBS Outdoor Inc., owners of the billboards. What Leones actually wrote was, "The illegalities that inhere to these proposed actions are of a constitutional size." (Jeepers!)

Read more...
 
Halvorsen Quarry hearing continued to December
Written by Catherine Wong, Times Standard   

10/3/13


The Board of Supervisors voted to continue a public hearing on appeals to the Halvorsen Quarry Reclama­tion Plan until Dec. 10.




At Tuesday’s afternoon session, county counsel and planning commission staff told the board that at least two weeks would be needed to review recently submit­ted information from the North Coast Regional Water Control Board.

Read more...
 
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