County Commission Chair Sisolak Applauds Sloan Hills Decision
Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak applauded today’s decision by the Bureau of Land Management to reject the applications of two companies seeking open-pit mining in the Sloan Hills.
“This has been a long fight by thousands of Henderson-area residents,” Sisolak said. “We’ve all been deeply concerned. These mining operations and its parade of dump trucks would have really damaged residents’ quality of life and potentially affected their health. It would have raised more dust, truck traffic and noise and lowered property values. This decision was a no-brainer and a victory for Henderson residents. I want to thank the BLM, Sen. Harry Reid, Congresswoman Dina Titus and the rest of the congressional delegation for their efforts.”
“If allowed to proceed, these gravel pits would have operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for an estimated 20 to 30 years,” Sisolak said. “Routine mining activities would have included blasting and digging with significant surface disturbance and fostered a dangerous 24-hour parade of heavy dump trucks to haul away the rock products from the site. The welfare of this community is more important than the profits of a private mining enterprise.”
The BLM announced today that it would not authorize the competitive sale of minerals in the Sloan Hills and that it had rejected applications from CEMEX and Service Rock Products Corporation to mine and process limestone and dolomite minerals. It also made available its final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Proposed Sloan Hills Competitive Mineral Material Sales.
BLM officials said the decision came after environmental analysis, consideration of public comments and application of pertinent federal laws.
“Over the years I have heard from thousands of southern Nevadans who oppose the Sloan Hills gravel pit, and today’s decision from BLM is welcome news. After evaluating a proposal for a major gravel operation at the site in question, the BLM’s decision shows that they took the needs of the community to heart. Keeping our communities safe and healthy is critical and I am pleased that these ill-conceived mines will remain inactive,” said Sen. Reid.
Commissioner Sisolak opposed the gravel pits when testifying before a U.S. Senate subcommittee in June 2010. The trip was part of a string of meetings and other efforts by the commissioner to try to block development of the gravel quarry on 640 acres of federal land off Interstate 15 about five miles southwest of Sun City Anthem.
“This is an issue that’s important to all of the residents of Henderson,” Sisolak said. “Hundreds of residents contacted me and more than 5,000 people signed a petition against the project.” The project is located in Sisolak’s District A.
“I commend the BLM for listening to the thousands of area residents who opposed this mine,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus, a sponsor of the Sloan Hills Withdrawal Act. “The proposed mine would have only exacerbated air quality concerns, negatively affecting the health and well-being of children and seniors throughout the valley. I was pleased to work with Commissioner Sisolak on this issue, and will continue to collaborate with BLM and Clark County on other public lands initiatives.”
The BLM decision reflects its intent to continue to manage lands within the Sloan Hills area as they now exist. Several alternatives for the site were analyzed by the BLM. They included Alternative 1 at 640 acres, which featured the sale of minerals in northern and southern sites to two mining companies that would have operated independently and resulted in a single open pit mine; Alternative 2 at 320 acres included the sale of minerals only in a north site; Alternative 3 at 320 acres included the sale of minerals in a south site only; Alternative 4 at 640 acres included the sale of minerals in both a north and south site to a single mining company and Alternative 5, which consisted of no action, the one selected.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 12th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 43 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.