Cal Am Backs Off on Eminent Domain Threat, Makes Peace with Cemex
May 11, 2012
In the newest proposal for a water supply solution on the Peninsula, California American Water plans to build a desal plant on Dole property north of Marina, and intake wells west of Highway 1 on property owned by CEMEX, where the international building materials company operates a sand mine.
Cal Am flexed its eminent domain muscle, arguing CEMEX should allow access onto its property—and when CEMEX delayed, Cal Am threatened to go to court, arguing environmental surveyors needed to get on site by the end of May to view flora with a short blossoming season.
A hearing scheduled for this morning was canceled after the parties came to an agreement. "The parties have resolved their dispute," Cal Am's attorney, Tony Lombardo, wrote in a letter yesterday to Monterey Superior Court Judge Lydia Villarreal.
"CEMEX is committed to being a good neighbor and working with communities in which it operates to address local issues," CEMEX spokeswoman Sara Engdahl writes by email.
The agreement will allow representatives of the California Public Utilities Commission, which Cal Am has identified as the lead agency for environmental review required to build the desal plant and intake wells, to access CEMEX property to tally sensitive species there.
Neither Lombardo nor Cal Am spokeswoman Catherine Bowie know what the sensitive, short-blooming flowers are that have made the matter so urgent, and calls to the PUC were not returned.