Monterey County

Coastal Commission orders Marina sand mining plant to shut down

Cemex deadline to respond to cease and desist letter has been extended


MARINA, Calif. - UPDATE 4/7/2016 2:30 PM: The Coastal Commission has extended the deadline Cemex has to respond to the cease and desist letter.

According to the Coastal Commission, Cemex asked for more time, and the commission granted that request.

Coastal Commission leaders said it's not uncommon for response deadlines to be pushed back in enforcement cases. The new deadline is May 6. 


The California Coastal Commission sent a letter to the Cemex Lapis Sand Plant, putting it on notice that the commission will move forward with shutting it down if things can't be resolved. 

"This was absolutely a stunning action on the part of California Coastal Commission," said Kathy Biala with the Monterey chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. "I think it was beyond anyone's wildest expectations."

The commission claims that much of the development there is unpermitted.

That includes sand mining and dredging that's decreasing the amount of sand along the Monterey Bay, changing the coast line and violating the coastal act.

"It's been identified as the culprit of much of the erosion by a number of studies," said Naval Post Graduate Professor of oceanography Ed Thornton. "As long as that sand mining continues at the rate it is this erosion is going to continue."

Cemex released a statement to KION saying it's reviewing the letter and disagrees with its assessment and that Cemex operates the Lapis Sand Mine in an environmentally responsible manner.

"When you have parts of your city washing into the ocean it can't be a good thing for your economy, or the people," said Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado. "Especially when you're a tourist location where you' beaches are a primary means to attracting people to visit your area."

Delgado said the city is not gaining anything financially from the plant, but if it were to shut down they could possibly use the space for other development.

"Development set aside for natural dune habitat restoration, desalination plant infrastructure," said Delgado.

Cemex has until April 6th to respond to the coastal commission's letter. 

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