There were to be 300 new jobs in Palmdale, California, with the devlopment of a plant that would be used to complete light rail cars with paint and wiring. The $60 million facility will never open its doors — or at least not with Kinkisharyo International. Those 300 jobs will also move elsewhere. Why? Environmental issues stopped the project. Or were they only a pretense for something else?

That is the accusation being made by Kinkisharyo officials. Spores were the environmental issue. Specifically, an environmental group called “Antelope Valley Residents for Responsible Development” stated that the development of the plant would have disturbed spores. It was one reason cited out of many in a 588-page appeal, but none of those reasons were the real motivation reported Kinkisharyo.

 

The environmental group is backed by the International Brotherhood Workers Union Local 11. It was this group’s motivation that prompted the environmental appeal, said Kinkisharyo. The group didn’t want the company to have control over the organization of the plant, they said.

“They are using California’s environmental laws as a pretense to put leverage on the company to get what they want,” said spokesman Coby King. While the company has chosen to temporarily remain in California, it is looking for alternative options for a plant site out of state.

Environmental issues can create significant delays or even stop development projects as it did in this case. Whether they are a pretense or a valid issue, they must be addressed immediately and with the assistance of a lawyer well-versed in environmental law and experienced in litigation.

Source: Fox News, “Union demands send Japanese firm, jobs packing from California town,” Perry Chiaramonte, Oct. 23, 2014