The California Coastal Commission staff and Cemex have reached a proposed settlement to end its sand mining operations in Monterey County, pending approval by the 12-member commission board at its July meeting.
Cemex has agreed to stop extracting sand from the last beach sand mining operation in California, resolve its financial liabilities under the Coastal Act and withdraw any claims they have to a vested right for continued sand mining on the property.
“The historic agreement, which also includes the State Lands Commission and the city of Marina, provides a December 31, 2020 date for ending the sand extraction operations and interim operating conditions to protect coastal resources while the unpermitted development is phased out,” the commission said in its release.
The proposed settlement is the result of more than a year of negotiations between Cemex and commission staff, and forecloses any possible litigation.
This settlement recommended by staff is scheduled to go before the commissioners at a hearing in Monterey County on July 13 for a final decision.
The 400-acre site in the city of Marina has been used for sand mining since the early 1900s. The company continued to mine and sell sand in the Monterey Bay area, which has one of the highest erosion rates in the state, despite growing concerns about beach loss and the need to protect communities from sea level rise.
Such activities have harmed the shoreline sand supply, environmentally sensitive habitat areas and public access, the commission said.
The proposed settlement establishes a maximum amount of sand that may be removed during the three year cessation period, which is 240,000 tons or approximately 177,000 cubic yards per year.
The agreement also provides another three years without any additional sand extraction, in order to wind down all operations and allow for employee transitions. It also provides for restoration and reclamation activities to encourage the recovery of the habitat values.