Temecula has filed a Motion for Judgment with the court this week, calling into question the county’s legal authority to certify the Liberty Quarry Environmental Impact Report (EIR), it was announced today.
A statement released by City Attorney Peter Thorson and Mayor Chuck Washington maintains that Riverside County acted illegally when it certified the EIR, after the controversial mining project was denied at the County Planning Commission and rejected by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 16, 2012.
“The city has been fighting the Liberty Quarry project for many years now and we have plenty of fight left in us,” Washington said.
The approval of the EIR is considered by some to have re-opened the door to the project.
City officials maintain that the move to certify the Environmental Impact Report was “illegal” and “improper,” in part, because the “CEQA does not apply to disapproved projects and thus the county lacked the discretionary authority to certify the EIR.”
The move comes in response to the approval of fast-tracking the mining project, decided by a divided Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 25.
Should the court side with the city and grant the motion, the EIR certification would be voided along with any potential application by the County or Granite Construction to fast track this or similar mining project.
Without the court’s approval, the fight will go on, according to Temecula Mayor Pro Tem Mike Naggar.
“There are a multitude of fatal flaws in the Liberty Quarry EIR and the City will pursue these with all the resources we have available,” Naggar said.