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Tuolumne County Faces Pending Lawsuit

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Riverbank, CA – The Riverbank City Council has voted 5-0 to sue Tuolumne County over the handling of the Cooperstown Quarry project.

The Supervisors approved plans for the rock quarry on April 5th. It will entail the removal of 56 million tons of crushed rock over a 75-year period. The City of Riverbank will see an increase in train traffic, and Council members are upset that the Supervisors did not require the proponents to submit a full Environmental Impact Report.

“The Council felt that the environmental review that was done on the project was inadequate because it did not address the impacts of all the trains that will be coming down to Riverbank in order to get on the main line,” says Pam Carder, Riverbank Interim City Manager. “The Council feels that the impacts are significant on our citizens and they need to be addressed in a better manner.”

Proponents of the quarry originally stated that it could be up in operation within a year, but the lawsuit could put things behind schedule. Besides asking for a full EIR, the City of Riverbank is hoping that the judge will order that all work on the quarry stop until the lawsuit is resolved.

The Cooperstown Quarry is estimated to create somewhere between 30-45 jobs, at a time when the county’s unemployment rate is near 15 percent. The Supervisors have contended at past meetings that the project is in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, and it did have a Mitigated Negative Declaration.

The City of Riverbank is concerned that increased train traffic will slowdown the response of emergency services and vehicles like school buses.