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After Being Voted Down, Liberty Quarry Resurrected In Riverside

Aired 11/6/12 on KPBS News.

A vote today could fast track approval of a controversial new rock quarry in Riverside County. Much of the rock and gravel from the Liberty Quarry could end up coming to San Diego construction sites.

The Liberty Quarry site is just north of the San Diego County line in Riverside, west of Interstate 15.

Liberty Quarry proposed site.

Above: Liberty Quarry proposed site.

Riverside Supervisors rejected the plan earlier this year, saying it would create dust, noise and traffic, ruin the tourism industry around rural Temecula and violate a Pechanga Band sacred site.

But now the Riverside County Board has scheduled a vote for this morning that could overturn that decision and fast track approval of the project.

Granite Construction Company has modified its proposal to mine 4 million tons of gravel and rock a year instead of 5 million tons. The mine would stay open 50 years instead of 75. And Riverside County would be paid a fee based on the amount of rock mined.

One of the five supervisors, John Tavaglione, has changed his vote based on these changes. He is running for Congress in this week’s election, which observers speculate may be the reason for the move to fast track the project. Granite first proposed it in 2005.

San Diego supervisors have remained silent on the issue. Construction projects in San Diego face trucking in material long distance, since the number of rock quarries still operating in San Diego County has fallen dramatically over the past three decades.

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