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Challenge to Petaluma asphalt plant filed in court

Opponents of a proposed asphalt plant near Petaluma have challenged the project's approval in state appellate court.

Community groups, individuals and the city of Petaluma filed papers Friday in the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

Grounds for the appeal will be disclosed at a future date, said David Keller of the Petaluma River Council.

The action is an appeal of a Superior Court dismissal of a lawsuit in December challenging the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors for approving San Rafael-based Dutra Materials' project.

Keller and others argued the board failed to address public health and environmental issues connected to the plant along the Petaluma River.

But Sonoma County judge Rene Chouteau dismissed the claim, finding the analysis was adequate.

Friday's filing doesn't prevent Dutra from moving forward. But Keller said the company must meet 90 conditions imposed by the county before it can receive grading and building permits.

"There is a ways to go before Dutra can put a spade in the ground, regardless of what we do," Keller said Monday.

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