Last U.S. sand mine will close in 2020

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

MA­RINA, Calif. — The last re­main­ing sand mine in the United States will close in 2020.

The Cal­i­for­nia Coastal Com­mis­sion unan­i­mously ap­proved an agree­ment Thurs­day to shut down the Lapis Sand Plant on a re­mote beach in Mon­terey County.

Ex­perts say the op­er­a­tion has caused dev­as­tat­ing ero­sion in Mon­terey Bay. The com­pany de­nies that the plant was the cause.

A pro­vi­sion in the state law that banned sand mines from the Cal­i­for­nia coast 27 years ago al­lowed Ce­mex USA con­tinue its op­er­a­tions.

The agree­ment will al­low the op­er­a­tor to ex­tract smaller amounts of sand from the 8-acre site for three years. The com­pany must pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment while op­er­a­tions are phased out.

Even­tu­ally the land will be sold to a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion or gov­ern­men­tal en­tity that would pro­vide pub­lic ac­cess.

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