Cemex stands firm on Monterey sandmine

Cemex has issued a strong rebuttal of environmental arguments against its Monterey, California, sand mine.

Environmental says the Cemex sand mine in Marina is the reason southern Monterey Bay has the highest coastal erosion rate in the state, reports Monterey County Weekly.

The California Coastal Commission issued a threat to shut down the mine in March 2016, but has yet to take action. It is expected that any action it does take will end up in court, and sources at the Coastal Commission, as well other agencies, say that officials continue to try to strengthen the case to shut the mine down.

Monterey City Council voted unanimously March 7 to send letters to the Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.

The letters, signed by Mayor Clyde Roberson, stated that “the City Council is deeply concerned about the increasing erosion along the Central Coast and urges your agency to do whatever is in its power to cause the cessation of sand mining.”

Just over a dozen people spoke during public comment in favor of shutting the mine down, including Edward Thornton, a retired, coastal engineer who’s been sounding the alarm about local sand mining for decades.

Cemex, in a letter dated February 2, by general counsel Mike Egan sent to Monterey City Attorney Christine Davi, stated the mine’s “required entitlements are in place; and operations have not significantly increased.”

Egan also wrote that Cemex does not believe Thornton’s findings—which include a peer-reviewed paper showing the mine is the primary cause for local coastal erosion—and assert his paper contains “numerous assumptions of facts made and failure to follow and apply recognized methods with respect to beach erosion analysis.”

The letter does not state exactly how or why Egan believes Thornton is wrong.

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