June 8, 2023 — Fresno County Planning Commission
Documented by Josef Sibala
What happened: At its Thursday meeting, the Fresno County Planning Commission approved a four-year extension for CEMEX to continue aggregate plant and quarry mining operations along North Friant Road despite receiving several letters in opposition, including one from the city of Fresno with concerns that the environmental impact report (EIR) done in 1986 is no longer adequate for the project.
In the letter dated March 1, 2023, City Planning Director Jennifer Clark stated that “substantial changes” have occurred that “require major revisions to the previous EIR” and cites an increase in traffic and pedestrians. The city submitted additional comments in a March 15 letter included in the agenda packet that explains further issues with the use of the 36-year-old EIR and permit extension.
The county received nine letters from concerned citizens and residents in the area opposed to the project, some of which allege CEMEX ultimately wants to extend operations for the next century so that it can further mine the San Joaquin River and increase operations on the site.
Its permit would have expired July 28, 2023 if not approved for the extension, which pushed the expiration to July 28, 2027.
And also: The commissioners also approved an increase in the production of renewable hydrogen, from approximately 2,000 kilograms per day to approximately 3,000 kilograms per day at an existing hydrogen generation facility outside of Mendota.
Up next: The Fresno County Planning Commission will meet again June 22 at 8:45 a.m.