Lake A quarry expansion
Lake A is a gravel quarry owned by Cemex Corporation. It is located south of Livermore, near the intersection of Isabel and Vineyard avenue. In 2015 they had planned to abandon mining operations there. Cemex has changed their position and would now like to expand mining operations beyond what is currently permitted, in part to supply materials for the BART to Isabel expansion project.
The Independent reported this story.
CEMEX plans to conduct more gravel mining in "Lake A," a quarry near the Oaks subdivision in Livermore, close to Isabel and Vineyard Avenues. CEMEX had stopped mining the site several years ago. It was planning a reclamation project that would turn the water-filled mine over to Zone 7 Water Agency as early as 2018. Once reclamation were completed, Zone 7 would take over control of the lake, with a CEMEX-built conveyance to other Zone 7 lakes, where the water could be used to recharge the groundwater. If Alameda County were to approve the plan to start mining again, the transfer would not occur until 2023 or 2025.
CEMEX wants to continue mining, because there is a great demand for housing now, and therefore for aggregate. CEMEX proposes to extend the mining to the west, south and east, but not the north, where the Oaks subdivision is located.
CEMEX notified neighbors of a meeting held at Granada High School. Zone 7 director Sarah Palmer announced the forum at the Zone 7 meeting July 20, having learned of it because she is a neighbor. She was surprised that Zone 7 was not notified.
CEMEX spokesperson Megan Lawrence told The Independent that the meeting was held to provide a forum for "residents, neighbors and homeowners to ask questions about the proposed changes to the reclamation plan" before CEMEX files its application to the county to extend mining. CEMEX is in the process of scheduling formal meetings with Zone 7 and the City of Livermore."
Zone 7 and the city sent observers to the July 21 meeting. Although the project is on unincorporated land, the city wants to make sure that the proposal would not lead to instability for city homeowners' property, said Planning Manager Paul Spence. LARPD also expressed interest in the plans, and had not been notified, said Assistant General Manager John Lawrence. LARPD has a recreational interest in it. Further, the mine is adjacent to Sycamore Grove Park, where arroyo water levels were an issue 10 years ago. It was thought that the fluctuating waters were responsible for poor health of some park trees. Lawrence said that since then, the arroyo has stabilized. One resident at the meeting, which was attended by 40 or 50 people, according to one attendee, said there were concerns about whether any properties could be undermined by the digging. Megan Lawrence, the CEMEX spokesperson, said, "CEMEX, Alameda County and technical experts have all undertaken considerable geotechnical and stability studies of Lake A." They concluded that the increased mining would not cause property owners any problems because it would take place at a distance from homes. Neighbors dispute this assessment.