By William W. Abbott
Unlike residential or commercial development projects with somewhat predictable levels of activity (and in turn, environmental effects), mining projects involving rock, sand and gravel can vary widely based upon local economic conditions. The recent case of San Joaquin Raptor v. County of Merced (April 10, 2007) 2007 Cal. App. LEXIS 516 examines the duty of the lead agency to also evaluate impacts associated with periodic or sustained peaks, and not just to rely upon historic averages. The decision also addresses deferred mitigation in the area of biological impacts.