Judge Denies Shamrock requests for release from Dutra Asphalt Plant lawsuit.
June 23, 2011
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
Today, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau rejected a request from Shamrock Materials, Inc., and Corte Meno Sand & Gravel, LLC to be released from a lawsuit challenging the a new asphalt plant, proposed to be constructed by the Dutra Group, immediately across from Petaluma’s Shollenberger Park, a renowned bird sanctuary.
Shamrock has argued that they had nothing to do with Dutra’s project. However, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including the City of Petaluma, Petaluma River Council, Madrone Audubon Society, Friends of Shollenberger Park, Moms for Clean Air, Petaluma Tomorrow, and others, pointed out that the County Board of Supervisors required Dutra to import its aggregate needed to produce asphalt by barge, using Shamrock’s adjacent dock, and to transport the aggregate from Shamrock to Dutra by way of a conveyor belt to be built through wetlands constructed on Shamrock’s land to mitigate Shamrock’s wetlands impacts. This made Shamrock’s participation in the case critical, since the County had required a large portion of the Dutra project to be built on Shamrock’s property (which is owned in part by Corto Meno).
Today Judge Chouteau agreed with the plaintiffs, holding that Shamrock is a proper party in the case and that Shamrock’s absence may interfere with the court’s ability to award complete relief in the action.
Petaluma River Council Director David Keller said, “It’s really quite simple. Either Shamrock is refusing to be part of the Dutra Project, in which case the Environmental Impact Report prepared for the project is entirely inaccurate and misleading; or else, Shamrock is willing to cooperate with Dutra and allow the project to be built on its wetlands, in which case Shamrock must be a party to the lawsuit. Shamrock can’t have it both ways.”