Cemex Operation Target of Protestors, Regulators

Cemex’s Lapis Lustre Sands in Marina, Calif., has been in operation in a dredge pond on a beach above the tide line since around 1965. Its sands have served municipalities, water filtration systems, gardens and nurseries, golf courses, well drillers, sandblasters, recreational facilities and many construction uses.

The California Coastal Commission, which has been investigating the mine for about six years, sent a letter to Cemex last March outlining several ways in which the mine violates the California Coastal Act, and threatened to shut the operation down if the violations continued, according to the Monterey County Weekly. The operation has also been the target of local protestors.

Cemex, in a statement, stated: “Cemex has heard the concerns raised by The Surfrider Foundation, and understands their commitment to conserving the Monterey Bay. Cemex and Surfrider share many common values with respect to environmental responsibility.

“Cemex is committed to operating in a sustainable and conscientious way and also takes great care to integrate biodiversity conservation into our operations. Cemex sponsors many onsite biodiversity programs throughout our sites in the United States, including Lapis, to protect and cultivate the unique ecosystems in which we live and work.

“We are disappointed that a respected organization such as Surfrider would suggest anything less of Cemex, and are concerned that many of [its] points are based on, what we believe to be, erroneous and speculative data and unsound theory.

“We look forward to continuing our productive and factual discussions with the California Coastal Commission and hope to find a mutual resolution soon.”

Martin Marietta Quarry Approved in Colorado

Boulder County, Colo., commissioners approved Martin Marietta Materials’ plan for constructing a processing plant and other structures on company property located southwest of Colo. 66 and North 61st Street, according to the Daily Camera.

The latest site plan – which revises a 1998 county-approved plan for the property – will allow Martin Marietta to process materials on a five-acre area north of the St. Vrain River and south of the BNSF Railroad tracks. It is to include an employee building, a scale house, a motor control building, a machine shop, a quality control lab and five storage buildings as well as the processing plant.

Under the conditions the commissioners approved, Martin Marietta’s can have up to 35-ft.-tall lights mounted on the processing plant itself, but those lights would normally be used during daytime hours only.

Pennsylvania Quarry to Start Blasting

According to the Tribune-Review, plans for overburden blasting at the Whitney Quarry in Unity Township Pa., has officials worried about the potential impact on nearby residents of Quarry Road. Representatives from Hanson Aggregates have been asked to explain their plan for the blasting at the quarry about three miles southeast of the village of Whitney, on properties of the Davison Stone Quarry and the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

According to a notice the supervisors received from Hanson, a year-long period of blasting is due to begin. According to the notice, blasting is set to occur, weather permitting, between 8 a.m. and noon, between 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., and between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. every day except Sundays. A series of three five-second signals will be sounded on an air horn as a warning two minutes prior to blasting. The all-clear signal will be one 10-second sounding of the horn.

California Quarry’s Recycling Efforts Under Fire

Operations at the San Rafael Rock Quarry in Marin County, Calif., and the county’s enforcement of regulations governing the quarry are once again generating controversy, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

The debate concerning the quarry, which has raged for years, is over the country’s decision to allow the quarry to import asphalt paving “grindings” left over during repavement projects to the quarry for recycling.

The Board of Supervisors in 2013 voted unanimously to give the quarry permission to import asphalt and recycle it, over the objections of the coalition, which filed suit over the matter in October 2013.

Protestors said that asphalt recycling is inconsistent with the 2004 decision by Marin Superior Court Judge John Sutro “that San Rafael Rock Quarry has no vested right to import asphalt for recycling.”

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