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“The attorneys at Churchwell White successfully advocated the City’s interests against a project that would have divided the City in half.  The City could not have achieved better results.” –Riverbank City Manager

Opportunity

A private drilling company proposed the development of a quarry in Tuolumne County to mine as much as 56 million tons of rock over a period of 75 years. The materials would be transported by rail along the historic BNSF rail line through the City of Riverbank raising serious traffic and safety concerns for City residents.  The City of Riverbank desired a win-win situation where it could support the project while mitigating the negative impacts on the City.

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Challenge

The transportation of quarry materials would significantly increase local traffic and send thousands of rail cars through a burgeoning downtown district. The project raised health and safety concerns due to airborne dust and pollutants as well as slowing the response time of emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.  The City faced a well-funded opposition and needed to find an affordable and creative solution addressing the City’s concerns while allowing the project to move forward.

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Solution

Churchwell White LLP attorneys negotiated a settlement between the county, the project proponent and environmental groups enabling the project to proceed, while providing the City with the necessary funds to mitigate the project’s impacts. The drilling company would pay seven cents out of every ton of rock extracted to mitigate environmental and traffic impacts, totaling more than $4M plus the City’s attorney’s fees and costs. The drilling company also agreed to reduce the number of rails cars and limit shipments to nighttime to minimize public disturbance.

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Benefit

The project moves forward, and the City has the necessary funds to upgrade and modernize its infrastructure to increase safety at rail crossings and improve traffic circulation.