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Shamrock requests release from Dutra Asphalt Plant lawsuit

Shamrock has filed a demurrer in Sonoma County Superior Court, arguing that they are not a real party of interest in the Dutra Petaluma Asphalt Plant case, got no approvals from the county to do anything on their land, and should be dismissed from the case. See the attached documents.  *

They argue that Shamrock and Corto Meno Sand & Gravel in fact never agreed to be a part of Dutra’s project, have no agreement to do so, and that any such inclusion in the Dutra project is incorrect.

Shamrock’s claim shows that the County’s EIR and Dutra Asphalt Plant Project approvals are patently inadequate because Shamrock never agreed to the Dutra Project that the County approved.

The conditions of approval require that Dutra’s Asphalt Plant Project must be built on a portion of Shamrock’s property which must be conveyed to Dutra’s ownership, destroying wetlands required to be created as mitigation for the Shamrock project, and require Shamrock to be Dutra’s exclusive supplier of rock and aggregate barged up the Petaluma River.

Dutra’s original project design depended on barged deliveries of aggregate to Dutra’s own river-frontage site.  However, the barge and tug operations and mooring facilities were found to block the river’s federally dredged channel, and impair navigational safety. Dutra’s river-front barge landing site was also discovered by us to be located directly over two PG&E high-pressure 12″ gas lines and PG&E easements, which are not buildable.  Dutra had to find another solution to remaining a barge-accessed project and avoid truck-only deliveries. Their proposal, ultimately approved and mandated by Sonoma County’s conditions of approval and CEQA conclusions, was to deliver all Dutra’s aggregate through the adjacent Shamrock property and barge landing site, and deliver it to Dutra’s site via a conveyor belt system that would cross directly through Shamrock’s previous wetlands mitigation site.

When the Supervisors asked county staff if there was an agreement between Dutra and Shamrock, they – erroneously – assured the Supervisors and the public that there was, or would be an agreement between Dutra and Shamrock to use Shamrock’s facilities as part of the project, including a transfer of property to Dutra for the conveyor belt system and construction, and wetland mitigations for the conveyor belt. Shamrock registered no objections to the Supervisors’ final approvals in December 2010.

Either Shamrock isn’t a participant in the Dutra Project despite the County’s requirements and assurances, or Shamrock will need to have a full environmental review of the alterations to its site, operations, permit and wetlands in order for the Dutra Project to proceed.  Either way, the Dutra project should finally come to a complete stop.
From: David Keller, Petaluma River Council, 1327 I St., Petaluma CA 94952.  (707) 763-9336
For additional information, contact:
Richard Drury, Lozeau | Drury LLP, 410 12th Street, Suite 250, Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 836-4200