Thousands of local residents oppose development of proposed mine near Henderson neighborhoods
May 5, 2010
Washington, DC – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today introduced legislation to block development of a proposed gravel pit near Henderson, Nevada. The bill would withdraw 640 acres proposed for the mine site from being used for a gravel quarry or any similar purpose. Reid has heard from thousands of people in southern Nevada who are deeply concerned about the effects that the proposed gravel mine would have on Henderson’s neighborhoods, including serious potential impacts on air quality.
“Over the past year I have heard from thousands of southern Nevadans who strongly oppose the Sloan Hills gravel pit, and I share their concerns,” Reid said. “The potential negative impacts of the proposed operation far outweigh any benefit the mine may provide. My bill will put an end to the gravel mine and safeguard the health and welfare of Henderson’s residents.”
The following link is to a map of the area detailing the parcel that will be withdrawn: http://reid.senate.gov/newsroom/upload/sloan_mineral_map.pdf
Senator Reid’s statement as submitted for the record is included below.
“Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Sloan Hills Withdrawal Act of 2010.
“Over the past year, I have been contacted by thousands of people in southern Nevada who have voiced serious concerns about a proposed aggregate mining operation that would be located on federal land very near Henderson, Nevada. I have a simple goal with the legislation that I am introducing today. My bill will stop the development of the proposed 640-acre gravel pit by withdrawing the area from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws and disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral materials. In short, this legislation makes sure that the proposed gravel operations at Sloan Hills will not go forward.
“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently evaluating a proposal for a major gravel operation at the site in question. If approved, the resulting mine would blast rock, crush gravel, kick up dust, and consume precious water resources up to twenty-four hours a day, every day, for thirty years. This would all be done just a few miles from numerous Henderson neighborhoods.
“Citizens from all over Clark County have rallied against this project because of its potential affect on the health of residents and the toll that the blasting other operations would have on an otherwise peaceful community. Because this project would be on federal land local governments are limited in their ability to influence the outcome of the Sloan Hills proposal. It is clear to all of us, though, that the proposed location for this gravel quarry is not in the best interest of our community.
“One of the major points of concern raised by Henderson residents is the large clouds of fine particulate matter that would be generated by mining activities at the Sloan Hills site. The dust kicked up by the proposed gravel operation would undoubtedly complicate the current air quality challenges in the Las Vegas Valley and would be particularly troublesome for members of nearby, age-restricted communities that have seniors already suffering from respiratory problems. Blasting and rock-crushing operations are also expected to generate noise and vibrations that will interfere with residents’ daily lives.
“Mr. President, this bill is important to me and to the people of southern Nevada. Keeping our communities safe and healthy is critical. I appreciate your help and I look forward to working with Chairman Bingaman, Ranking Member Murkowski and the other distinguished members of the Senate Energy Committee to move this legislation forward in the near future.
“I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.”