Review of Diamond Rock Sand & Gravel Mine Final EIR
David Magney Environmental Consulting (DMEC) critically reviewed the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) and related documents for the proposed Diamond Rock Sand and Gravel Mine project within the Cuyama River near Ventucopa, in northeastern Santa Barbara County.   DMEC conducted its review on behalf of the Stop the Trucks! Coalition (Coalition) and the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), Channel Islands Chapter.
DMEC Comment Letter on Diamond Rock FEIR, dated 29 May 2007, is available here.
DMEC focused comments on the FEIR on three issue areas: biological resources, traffic safety, and air quality.   The FEIR's impact analysis for each of these three issue areas did not adequately assess impacts likely to occur as a result of the proposed project.   DMEC had performed a botanical survey of the project site in June 2003, finding five rare plant species; however, the EIR failed to mention this, even though DMEC's plant list, indicating which species were rare, was included in the supporting documents for the project.   A map showing what DMEC found onsite and adjacent to the proposed mine site is shown below.
DMEC found that the FEIR underestimated, or failed to really discuss, the traffic safety issues related to significantly increasing the number of full-sized gravel-hauling trucks would be using State Route (SR) 33 through Ventura County by as much as 85% in one scenerio.   The FEIR failed to adequately assess safety issues related to modern large trucks using a road that was designed in the late 1920s and build in the early 1930s when large trucks were much smaller and much lighter than the trucks of today, which weight up to 80,000 pounds (maximum allowed) and 70 feet long.
The FEIR failed to assess the impacts of so many slow-moving trucks would have on other vehicle traffic using a highway with very few safe passing areas, and the fact that gravel trucks currently using SR33 almost never use turnout lanes to allow faster vehicles pass.
to see photos and a short video of on gravel trucks on SR33.
This page created 30 May 2007
This page last updated 19 June 2007