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Group donates $2,500 for Petaluma asphalt plant fight

A Petaluma volunteer group is making good on a promise it made to help fund a lawsuit the city is pursuing to fight the Dutra asphalt plant on the edge of town.

Moms for Clean Air has made a first installment of $2,500, the first half of a $5,000 pledge it made to encourage the city to fight the plant. Friends of Shollenberger Park also pledged $5,000.

Joan Cooper presented the City Council with the partial payment this week.

In January, Petaluma decided to continue the legal fight against Dutra Materials after the two groups pledged to help pay the costs of an appeal.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in 2010 approved the plant, which is to be built just outside the city limits and across Petaluma River from popular Shollenberger Park and wetlands. The city is among several groups, including the two nonprofit groups, appealing Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau's dismissal of their lawsuit.

The city attorney estimated the donations will pay for about half of the appeal, although some critics have challenged those numbers.


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