[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 19
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]


By Matthew Renda, Courthouse News

sand mineMARINA, Calif. (CN) – The 10-person California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to approve a settlement that requires Cemex – Mexican multinational building material company – to close its sand mine in Marina, California, just north of Monterey by December 2020.

Cemex’s Marina sand mine is the only remaining coastal sand mine in the United States.

The commission voted to approve the settlement in its meeting Thursday.

“To phase out of the last beach sand mine in the United States located in an area of one of the highest erosion rates in our state is an incredible accomplishment,” said Jack Ainsworth, California Coastal Commission executive director. “This will be remembered as one of the most significant accomplishments in a long list of coastal protection actions undertaken by this body.”

The settlement was about a year and a half in the making, after the coastal commission sent Cemex a notice of intent letter last spring informing the company it would begin a cease-and-desist process.

Several environmental organizations, including Save Our Shores, Surfrider and others began to demand that the coastal commission shut down the mine, citing the detrimental environmental impacts the sand mine was causing in the southern reach of the Monterey Bay.

Specifically, the distinctive sand dunes characteristic of Monterey Bay are eroding at a rate of 3 to 6 feet per year – one of the highest rates of beach erosion in the state, according to several peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Cemex representatives have taken issue with that characterization, saying the factors involved in the localized beach erosion are many and complex.

“We respectfully disagree on several matters of fact and law, but we set those aside today in the interest of seeking resolution of this matter,” Jerae Carlson, vice president of sustainability and public affairs for Cemex, said during the meeting.

Ed Thornton, who has been working to shutter the sand mine since the 1980s when he first noticed the pronounced coastal erosion as a coastal engineer for the Postgraduate Navy School in Monterey, said the sand mind is almost totally responsible for the loss of beaches in the area.

“I would expect that when they stop sand mining in Marina, because there is still sand coming from the Salinas River, that the shoreline will start to grow again,” Thornton said.

The exuberant optimism expressed by Thornton was widespread during Thursday’s meeting, as the vast majority of attendees were in favor of the settlement and gave a prolonged standing ovation after the commission took the vote.

“When you think of how long that mine has been in operation under various owners and how much damage it has caused and now it is going to come to an end, it is a historic moment,” said Katherine O’Dea, executive director of Save Our Shores.

O’Dea has teamed up with Thornton and Jennifer Savage of Surfrider to pressure the commission for the past two years. She made sure to not only recognize the commission and other state agencies, but the willingness of Cemex to reach a resolution.

“I really do commend Cemex for coming to the table,” O’Dea said. “I think they saw the pressure that was brought to bear on them, but then they stepped up.”

Cemex will phase out sand mining, as it will give the company the opportunity to retrain and transition the many employees who earn a living working at the mine.

“There needs to be a transition process so that it does not unfairly impact workers,” Carlson said.

The sand mine has been in operation for more than a century, with operations at the property dating back to 1906. In the 1970s, regulators first began looking at sand mines in Monterey Bay, as there were at least seven in operation.

Many of the competing mines were shuttered, largely because they used a drag line to haul sand in from the nearby ocean bottom. Conversely, the Cemex sand mine uses a dredge pond, which allows large ocean swells in winter to dump sand in a pond in the middle of its 400-acre property.

After the sand accumulates throughout the winter, it operates a 30 by 60-foot dredge that sucks the sand out of the pond. The company then transports the sand to the plant on property where it is sifted, stored and shipped for use in building materials, mostly concrete.

The cessation of the sand mine was not the only good news for supporters of the Monterey Bay coastline, as part of the agreement between the parties stipulates that Cemex will transfer the land to either a nonprofit or governmental entity with the purpose of preserving the natural resources while allowing public access.

“It’s a great recreational opportunity,” Ainsworth said. “The future acquisition will create thousands of acres of contiguous open space and dune habitat.”

The unique dune habitat in the Monterey Bay provides a home for federally threatened species like the Monterey spineflower and the Smith’s blue butterfly.

The agreement stipulates that Cemex can withdraw no more than a total of 720,000 tons of sand over the final three years of operation, or no more than 240,000 tons annually.

The agreement is subject to third-party monitoring. If Cemex fails to honor the agreement, it could face fines up to $10,000 per day.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
City Eyeing Alternative to Lyons Extension
On the heels of releasing its draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Lyons Avenue and Dockweiler Drive extension, the city of Santa Clarita is setting its sights on an alternative that would leave Lyons Avenue alone and filter traffic to Railroad Avenue via 13th Street.
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
Santa Clarita Man Suspected of Child Pornography Pleads No Contest
Child pornography resulted in a six-month jail sentence for a Santa Clarita man Monday, officials said.
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
Becerra Files Brief Opposing Muslim Travel Ban
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 17 States, today filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court opposing the Trump Administration’s effort to impose a travel ban on people from six predominantly Muslim countries. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case on October 10.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
On the heels of releasing its draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Lyons Avenue and Dockweiler Drive extension, the city of Santa Clarita is setting its sights on an alternative that would leave Lyons Avenue alone and filter traffic to Railroad Avenue via 13th Street.
City Eyeing Alternative to Lyons Extension
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barber is hosting the inaugural Santa Clarita Valley Transportation Summit.
Sept. 21: Santa Clarita Valley Transportation Summit
Preview of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Sept. 18-24.
Sept. 18-24: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson strongly encourages sixteen- and seventeen-year-old students to pre-register to vote with the beginning of High School Voter Education Weeks from September 18–29.
Sept. 18-29: High School Voter Education Weeks
No. 20 College of the Canyons will host No. 11 Long Beach City College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Cougar Stadium.
Sept. 23: Cougars Football Hosts Long Beach City College
College of the Canyons hosted its annual Western State Conference (WSC) tournament a on Monday, coming away with a second place finish behind conference leader Santa Barbara City College at El Cariso Golf Course in Sylmar.
Cougars Golf Takes Second Place at COC Annual Tournament
A potential water rate hike prompted Santa Clarita Water Division officials to call for a public meeting Tuesday evening for its Budget and Rates Committee.
SCWD to Discuss Possible Water Rate Hike at Public Meeting
California State University, Northridge art history professor and archeologist Owen Doonan was honored earlier this year by the Explorers Club — an international multidisciplinary professional society that helps advance field research and preserve exploration — for his international excavations in Turkey and a related exhibition, “Stone Sounds: Echoes from 4000 Years at Sinop Kale.”
CSUN Professor Honored by Explorer’s Club
The California State University has selected 23 students, one from each campus, to receive the 2017 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.
CSUN Mechanical Engineering Student One of 23 Recognized by CSU
A group of Newhall School District parents upset the elementary school calendar doesn’t match up to the high school one plan to attend this week’s board meeting, continuing a “walk-out” threat.
NSD Parents Upset Over School’s Calendar; Threaten Walk-Out
Six Flags Magic Mountain's biggest season of Fright Fest, presented by Snickers, reopened Saturday.
Magic Mountain Fright Fest Back, Bigger Than Ever
Child pornography resulted in a six-month jail sentence for a Santa Clarita man Monday, officials said.
Santa Clarita Man Suspected of Child Pornography Pleads No Contest
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 17 States, today filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court opposing the Trump Administration’s effort to impose a travel ban on people from six predominantly Muslim countries. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case on October 10.
Becerra Files Brief Opposing Muslim Travel Ban
California Credit Union is inviting all Los Angeles County teachers who have a great class project idea to apply for a credit union grant through its bi-annual Teacher Grant Program.
CCU’s Fall Teacher Grant Applications Underway
California's housing market defied gravity as existing home sales and median home price registered increases on both a monthly and an annual basis in August, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said Monday.
State Sees Increase in Housing Market
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]
California State University, Northridge students and faculty have joined forces with Bet Tzedek to expand legal aid for undocumented parents of CSUN students.
CSUN, Bet Tzedek Expand Legal Aid for Students’ Undocumented Parents
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the family of a missing 16 year old Hart High student is asking the community for help in locating him. Plus, dust off your resumes: COC is hosting its Fall semester Job & Career Fair soon. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, September 18, 2017
The Governing Board of the Saugus Union School District is extending the deadline to apply for the 7-11 Advisory Committee through Thursday, September 21 at 4 p.m.
Saugus School District Extends Deadline to Apply for Surplus Committee
After letting an early two-set lead slip away, the TMU Mustangs volleyball team rallied from behind to secure a 3-2 win over the San Diego Christian Hawks Saturday night.
Mustangs Volleyball Team Rallies to Beat San Diego Christian 3-2
The Master's University and Bethesda University battled 110 minutes to a scoreless draw in double-overtime Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
TMU, Bethesda Men’s Soccer Teams Battle to 0-0 Draw in Double Overtime
The TMU Mustangs men's and women's cross-country teams raced in the open division of UC Riverside’s event Saturday.
TMU Cross Country Impresses at UC Riverside Invitational
The TMU Mustangs volleyball team rallied to win sets four and five against Arizona Christian Friday, taking the match 3-2 on Bross Court.
TMU Volleyball Edges Arizona Christian 3-2
The Gentle Barn is celebrating its 18th year of spreading compassion and hope for animals around the world from its current locations in Santa Clarita, California, Knoxville, Tennessee and the newest animal sanctuary set to open September 24 near St. Louis.
Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Sanctuary Turns 18
“Wildwood Canyon: The Resilience of Nature,” a photography exhibit by artist Kristina Jacob, will be on display at the Jo Anne Darcy Library in Canyon Country from September 26 through January 24.
Sept. 26: Wildwood Canyon Photo Exhibit at Darcy Library
October is National Arts and Humanities Month and to celebrate the city of Santa Clarita will host ARTober during the month.
October is ‘Artober’ in Santa Clarita
College of the Canyons will host the one-day conference, “It’s Still Happening Right Here! Human Trafficking,” on Friday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: COC Hosts Human Trafficking Conference
College of the Canyons hosted the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Preview on Friday, attracting a field of more than 500 cross-country runners to the course at Central Park in Santa Clarita.
Canyons Women Take Second at CCCAA SoCal Preview
The Dodgers enter the final leg of their 10-game road trip (4-2) tonight with the first of four against the Philadelphia Phillies, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Dodgers and Kershaw Open 4-Game Stand in Philadelphia
Family members report they have found Elias Ortiz, a 16-year-old Newhall resident who had been missing since Saturday night.
Newhall Teen Missing Since Saturday Found
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that six of 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration be reduced in size, with changes to several others proposed, but the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is not on Zinke's shrink list.
San Gabriel National Monument Not on Interior Secretary’s Shrink List
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will move from its present location at City Hall to new office space at 28494 Westinghouse Place, Suite 114, Valencia 91355, on October 12.
October 12: SCV Chamber Moves to New Office
The Modesto Nuts pulled away late and swept the California League Championship Series with an 8-1 victory over the JetHawks in Game 3 on Friday night at John Thurman Field, ending the season for the Lancaster team.
JetHawks Swept in CLCS to End 2017 Season
New stencils on Santa Clarita crosswalks are part of the city's 'Heads Up' pedestrian safety program.
‘Heads Up’ Crosswalk Stencils Boost Santa Clarita’s Pedestrian Safety Effort