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Balancing public concerns with private rights, supervisors approve east Kern mining operation

Balancing economic development with environmental protection can be hard under the best circumstances, but it’s especially tricky in a mostly rural county like Kern, where money for public services remains tight, many jobs revolve around resource extraction and political convictions related to private property rights run deep.

All of this made for robust debate Tuesday afternoon during a public hearing the Board of Supervisors convened to consider a small mining operation proposed in eastern Kern by one of the area’s more significant employers: cement-maker CalPortland.