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New consultant proposed for quarry project 

San Luis Obispo County supervisors will be asked to approve a contract with URS Corporation to perform the environmental analysis of the controversial Las Pilitas Quarry project.

In a hearing scheduled June 21, supervisors will be asked to approve the $406,072 contract—to be paid by the applicant, Las Pilitas Resources, LLC. This marks the second consultant slated to compile an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed project that will result in 30 years of mining, half a million tons of extraction, and an asphalt recycling plant east of Santa Margarita.

County planning officials axed an earlier agreement with Benchmark Resources, which was selected as the best of three firms that submitted a proposal to write the EIR.

On April 7, New Times reported the firm has close ties to the mining industry and firm Principal and Vice President Bruce Steubing was selected to speak at the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association about “Obtaining Permits and Approvals with Entrenched Project Opposition.”

Soon after, faced with heavy public scrutiny, county officials re-circulated proposals for
the EIR.

“After further review, staff decided that this community perception problem warranted recirculation of the [Request For Proposal],” according to a county staff report.

URS Corporation was one of five firms to submit a proposal in the second round, along with Benchmark.

If approved by county supervisors, URS Corporation will begin work on a draft EIR, expected to be completed by December.

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