At the Febuary 23 Planning Commission Hearing county regulators vowed to get the Ojai Quarry back up and running. The commission continued the revocation hearing until May 24 while the state conducts its review and county staff tie up loose ends. According to the newspaper, Planning Director Kim Prillhart said "I couldn't be happier with that," and hugged Mosler after the hearing.
The California Office of Mine Reclamation (OMR) stepped in after the Ventura County Planning Commission had decided to wait until Febuary 23, 2012 to make a decision. Although the County is giving Mosler two months to try to reach a compromise with County planners, the Ojai Quarry was removed from the state list of approved mines. This put County projects on hold, as Matilija rock destined for Callegus Creek was deemed ineligible for public contract.
Meanwhile, steelhead and water quality continue to be impacted by runoff from the quarry. Erosion of the steep slope during rain events delivers fine sediment to the creek, which settles out downstream. During a recent survey, several inches of silt could be seen covering the gravel bottom. Steelhead spawning 'redds' have been documented in this reach of North Fork Matilija Creek, and the influx of silt can smother eggs and alvein that rely upon the oxygen rich water flowing through the spawning gravel.
|Steelhead spawning redd in North Fork Matilija Creek, March 21, 2012|
|Steelhead eggs, North Fork Matilija Creek, March 21, 2012|
In the news:
October 27, 2011: County proposes to shut Ojai mine after owner refuses to pay up
December 13, 2011: Mosler quarry heads for showdown before county Planning Commission
December 15, 2011: Ventura County Planning Commission delays decision on quarry near Ojai
January 10, 2012: State deals business blow to Ojai Quarry
February 20, 2012: Regulators, quarry operator moving toward deal
February 23, 2012: In Ojai, quarry owner expects to be back in business
More info: http://www.venturariver.org/search/label/Ojai%20Quarry
Stop the Trucks Coalition: http://www.ojaipost.com/tag/stop_the_trucks/