Public input sought for Chain of Lakes mining project

Company asks county to dig deeper, amend site's current reclamation plan

Tri-Valley residents are invited to add their voices to a subsequent environmental review process concerning possible changes in reclamation and mining activity in the unincorporated Chain of Lakes area between Livermore and Pleasanton.

Some of the proposed changes at Eliot Quarry include mining at a greater depth in the Lake B area, which is on the western side of the site and has an active sand and gravel mine pit nearly 150 feet deep, according to the Alameda County Community Development Agency.

Project applicant RMC Pacific Materials -- one of three active mining companies in the Chain of Lakes -- is also seeking to amend the site's current reclamation plan, including redirecting the Arroyo del Valle south of its current spot, rather than into Lakes A and B.

Years ago, the original plan was for mining to take place in Lake A, a formerly mined area on the eastern portion of the site that's been infiltrated by groundwater, but protests from nearby residents put an end to it. Because of potential environmental consequences from the proposed project and an outstanding agreement to eventually acquire the Chain of Lakes for water management purposes like storage and groundwater recharge, Zone 7 Water Agency General Manager Valerie Pryor told the Weekly that her staff will help keep an eye on things during the environmental impact report (EIR) process.

"Zone 7 is concerned with mining deeper and reclamation, and how it relates to groundwater management," Pryor said. "During mining there is silt that's moved around, so we want to make sure the silt doesn't impact our water quality."

"We'd like the county to make sure they really thoroughly study how mining deeper and getting into any other aquifers would impact water quality," Pryor said, adding that staff already regularly visit the current mining operations at the Chain of Lakes and plan to weigh in on the draft EIR, along with other public entities like the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A public scoping meeting held last week at the Garré Vineyard & Winery Martinelli Event Center was "very lightly attended," according to Pryor, but the community has until the July 18 deadline to comment on the EIR process to the county development agency.

Written responses on the Chain of Lakes reclamation and mining amendment can be sent to: Senior Planner Bruce Jensen at the Alameda County Community Development Agency Planning Department, 224 W. Winton Avenue, Suite 111, Hayward, CA 94544, or via email to (include "SMP-23 Reclamation Plan Amendment SEIR" in the subject line).

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9 people like this
Posted by Willy
a resident of Old Towne
on Jul 3, 2019 at 9:14 am

Willy is a registered user.

I might suggest no more mining in the area.

10 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Towne
on Jul 3, 2019 at 9:36 am

I agree with Willy. When we first moved here in 80’s we were told that eventually the area would be recreational. 38 years and nothing new. Stanley has too many small rocks which present hazards to drovers. Their daily cleaning effort needs to be increased/improved if they intend to mine any further.

8 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 3, 2019 at 10:11 am

I agree.. When we moved here we were told they woud be gone in 20yrs.. Been here 26yrs and still way to much dust and noise..See no purpose to expand to suppy other areas..

5 people like this
Posted by Lisa M.
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 3, 2019 at 10:28 am

I agree,there are to many variables and unknowns to continue mining. It may endanger our water quality.
I also was told we would have a full recreation area there.

1 person likes this
Posted by Lisa M.
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 3, 2019 at 10:38 am

Also what are the environmental concerns of redirecting an arroyo? Who pays for that and will it effects endangered species?

3 people like this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jul 3, 2019 at 10:53 am

Frankie is a registered user.

It’s time to reclaim and restore the areas for recreation and wildlife. Now that surrounding areas have been developed, the more intensive quarry operations need to be eliminated. I can’t imagine re-routing the arroyo unless it is already destroyed by the diggings and an ambitious improvement is provided at the same time. Our population is growing and we desperately need more passive recreation areas.

Like this comment
Posted by Henry
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 3, 2019 at 11:45 am

Are there any nearby alternative sources of sand and gravel? This resource is becoming quite scarce in good amounts and quality like we have. Hauling from great distances is not great for roads and air quality.

1 person likes this
Posted by ddclausen
a resident of Old Towne
on Jul 3, 2019 at 5:12 pm

ddclausen is a registered user.

We would be poor stewards of our neighborhood if we allowed any more 150 foot quarry holes. This land will be useless for generations to come. I would like to see all documents related to the continuation of mining operations.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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