Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County and Blue Mountain Minerals representatives are calling for reforms to state environmental laws, saying environmental groups use them to slow and stop development.

The example used on Tuesday by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors was a recent lawsuit from the Twain Harte-based Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center over a Blue Mountain Minerals quarry in the county.

Several board members and Blue Mountain CEO Jeff Redoutey slammed CSERC and called groups like it obstructionists who are only looking to slow down economic progress. The discussion continues a trend in public meetings criticizing the California Environmental Quality Act and groups that sue over what they consider violations of the act.

"This is a travesty. It's not new, it's the same old story," said Supervisor Karl Rodefer, whose district represents Columbia and Jamestown. "This is not what America is all about."

The discussion came before the board reversed its January decision that allowed the mining company to dump processed rock and earth on 27 acres of woodland at the quarry, which is located near the Parrotts Ferry bridge on New Melones Reservoir. The land is next to 48 acres already used for dumping the material.

For the complete story, see the March 19, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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