On September 28, 2010, the Marin County Board of Supervisors (“Board”) approved both an amendment to the San Rafael Rock Quarry’s Surface Mining and Quarrying Permit (“Permit”) and an amended reclamation plan (“ARP”). Both actions substantially revised the previously existing permit and reclamation plan. The Board also adopted a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (“Monitoring Program”). The complete text of this Permit is available here as a PDF document.
The following is a summary of material provisions of the new Permit, ARP and Monitoring Program. Additional details, particularly relating to the amended reclamation plan and technical operating conditions, are not discussed here but can be found in the full Permit document. In all, the Permit has 172 Conditions of Approval.
- Days and Hours of Operations and Reclamation.
Except as indicated below, Quarry-related mining, reclamation, barging and maintenance activities may be conducted Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with haul trucks ceasing by 5 p.m. The exceptions are as follow:
- Saturday Maintenance.
- Off site noise-producing maintenance may be conducted on up to 10 Saturdays per year, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with best efforts made to combine with Saturday barging. No restriction on quiet maintenance.
- Reclamation Grading.
- Reclamation grading in the N.E., N.W. and S.W. quadrants may be conducted during no more than 10 calendar weeks between April 15 and October 15 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Barge Loading.
- Barge loading may be conducted from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (10 p.m., November through March), Monday through Saturday, provided that (i) activities past 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday require a 36-hour advance notice to DPW and posting on Quarry website, (ii) no more than 26 (half) of the Fridays may continue past 7 p.m. and (iii) barging on a Saturday allowed only if preceding Friday counts as a post-7 p.m. barging day.
- Blasting may be conducted up to 3 times per week, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- There are no restrictions on administrative (e.g., office) work.
- Public Emergencies.
- There are no schedule restrictions during a time that is a public emergency as declared by public officials. (See DPW website COA #33 for details).
- Public Emergencies.
- Constraints on days and times of operations are generally suspended during a public emergency, declared by a local, state or federal agency, that reasonably requires Quarry products to alleviate the emergency.
- Prohibitions on Mining.
Mining is prohibited in the Northwest Quadrant of the Quarry site (“NWQ”), and the Northeast Quadrant (“NEQ”) except as to rock that is encountered when establishing the Quarry bowl bench at the future edge of San Francisco Bay. (See page 2-5 of the Final Environmental Impact Report (“FEIR”) for a description of the Quarry quadrants.)
- Production Limits.
Maximum annual Quarry production is limited to the 1982 baseline level of production, which is a 5-year rolling annual average of roughly 1.4 million tons and a single year limit of about 1.7 million tons. Production records supporting compliance with the limit must be maintained.
- Financial Assurances.
Shortly after approval of the Permit, the Quarry was required to update an estimate of an adequate financial assurances cost estimate (i.e., a bond) in conformance with SMARA, the principal law governing mining activities in California. The update was required to include cost estimates accounting for continuous funding of operations and maintenance of the deep water quality equipment to be employed in the deep water harbor after final reclamation.
- Depth of Quarry Bowl.
The Quarry bowl depth below sea level shall not exceed 350 feet (400 feet at the storage water pond as shown on the reclamation plan. Maximum depth under prior reclamation plan was 200 feet). (See Exhibit 2, Condition 26a of Permit, Amendment #1, Conditions of Approval Including Amended Reclamation Plan, San Rafael Rock Quarry.)
- Permit and Reclamation Plan Timing Issues.
Three years before termination of quarrying operations, the Quarry is required to submit a development plan for the post-mining use of the site. The amended reclamation plan expires on December 31, 2024 (except for final phase reclamation such as vegetation management, erosion control and harbor and water quality management). If the Quarry wishes to continue mining the site after this date, it must file an application to amend the reclamation plan by December 31, 2021.
The Quarry is limited to 125 round trips hauling its product from the site, all of which must occur between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Trucks are to be washed down before exiting. Pt. San Pedro Rd. is to be swept by a sweeper truck twice daily, except when it rains. Tarping is required for intracompany trucks between Dutra sites. Outside vendors shall be required by contract to tarp trucks leaving with aggregate or asphalt material. Trucks shall leave at minimum 2 minute intervals during peak periods (which are 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour around noon, with exact times to be determined by the County). Trucks may not (i) park and stage along Pt. San Pedro Road, (ii) enter the Quarry site before business hours, (iii) convoy with other trucks, nor (iv) use jake brakes on Pt. San Pedro Rd. Annually, the Quarry will make available to the County and City in-kind materials with a value of $100,000 to maintain the road (with a carryover of unused amounts allowed with a max of $300,000). DPW Director may choose to receive 12,000 tons of open grade asphalt for Pt. San Pedro Road in lieu of the in-kind materials.
- Air Quality.
Reclamation-related excavation, hauling and grading shall be suspended when wind gusts exceed 25 mph. Stockpiles of crushed rock shall be kept moist or watered before loading. No visible fugitive dust plume exceeding 100 feet in any direction shall be allowed relating to any mining or grading activity, equipment, storage pile or disturbed surface area (but excluding blasting). Concurrent mining and reclamation activities shall be limited so as to remain within air BAAQMD air quality standards. The Quarry shall fund a continuous air quality monitoring program by the County to measure air quality such as particulate matter. After two years of the air quality program, the Public Works Director shall decide whether to continue or suspend the program.
Noise levels due to operations and reclamation are limited to 60 dBA day/night Ldn and 70 dBA maximum as measured from the residential receptor property line. For reference, 60 dBA is roughly comparable to the noise produced by a large business office (indoors) or an area of heavy commercial traffic (outdoors); 70 dBA is roughly comparable to a vacuum cleaner at 10 feet (indoors) or a gas lawn mower at 100 feet (outdoors). The Quarry shall appoint a responsible individual for noise management whose contact information will be posted on the Quarry’s website. That individual will record all noise complaints and actions taken in response, and will report that information upon request of the County and otherwise with the Annual Report. Reclamation grading in the NEQ and berm construction shall be restricted to M-F, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Over a 3-year period, the Quarry will phase in a program to enclose the crushing and processing plant conveyor systems (e.g., barge loading and primary and secondary conveyors), install sound deadening materials in hoppers, and sound deadening materials and sound curtains in the screens and secondary crushers. A special component of the program will focus on reducing barge-loading noise, and will require concrete lining of all barges within 3 years. Until the end of that 3-year period, only concrete barges will be loaded after 8 p.m. The County shall conduct an ongoing noise monitoring program funded by the Quarry intended to determine compliance with the permitted noise standards. The monitoring program will cover all periods of reclamation activity in the NEQ.
Blasting is limited to 104 times per calendar year, with no more than 3 blasts per week. No blasting on State holidays or weekends. Quarry must post notice of blast on their website at least 36 hours in advance. No blasting when wind velocity exceeds 25 mph at top of Quarry bowl. No blasting on Spare the Air days declared by BAAQMD, provided BAAQMD gives 48 hours notice. Quarry shall fund an ongoing seismic and air overpressure monitoring program. (Other technical conditions are contained in the Permit.
- Other Matters.
The permit contains various biological resource requirements regarding the protection of special status plants, protected trees, wetland areas, the California red-legged frog, northwestern pond turtles, birds and bats. It also contains various conditions regarding the seismic and geological integrity of the Quarry site, including those relating to the slope and curvature of the pit walls, and ground water monitoring. The Permit addresses stormwater pollution prevention, the water quality of the bowl that is proposed to be flooded eventually, sea level rise, erosion control, re-vegetation and hazardous materials.
- Reporting and Community Relations.
Each February 1, the Quarry will certify and submit a report to the County (DPW) describing how all of the conditions and mitigation measures in the Permit are being implemented, and any problems with implementation. The report will contain an annotated map showing current progress of mining and reclamation, and will summarize air quality, noise and biological monitoring data. The Quarry will maintain a public website containing Permit information. The Quarry will hold a community forum at least twice annually (with 30 days advance notice) to review and discuss operations and reclamation, and answer questions from the public.