VALLEJO (KPIX) – The five-year battle on a controversial cement plant in Vallejo is over. Vallejo Marine Terminal (VMT) informed the city it’ll no longer seek permission to build a cement plant at the old General Mills site in South Vallejo.
Opponents of the plant celebrated the news Saturday.
“We were jumping up and down, screaming and hollering,” said La Donna Williams, who lives in South Vallejo.
“We beat them. We won,” said Peter Brooks, president of Fresh Air Vallejo.
VMT wanted to lease the property to Orcem to build a cement plant along the waterfront. Opponents argued it would create toxic dust and pollute the air.
“If you breathe, then this victory is for you because we want to keep fresh air in this community,” said Brooks.
“We fought to get environmental justice to combat that racism. And we will do it every time. Not in Vallejo, not in Vallejo,” said Vallejo resident Brenda Crawford.
Orcem said they would build a green cement plant. Supporters believed it would bring economic development and well-paying jobs.
“It’s a missed opportunity,” said Del Gilbert, who supported the proposal. “We sorely needed it in Vallejo.”
While some on the Vallejo City Council supported the proposal, Mayor Bob Sampayan opposed it, saying it’s about people over profit.
“It has been extremely divisive. Our community has been split over this. Good people, decent people have argued with each other. We need to move forward from it and my hope is that we will,” said Mayor Sampayan.
VMT co-owner Alan Varela told KPIX 5 by phone the company decided to drop the proposal because the process has taken too long and it was time to look for other opportunities. He would not say what options they’re considering to replace the cement plant proposal.