County of Marin - News Releases - Rock Quarry Reclamation

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2018

San Rafael Rock Quarry to Begin Reclamation

State-mandated process to be monitored by Marin County Public Works

San Rafael, CA – The San Rafael Rock Quarry in eastern San Rafael, about half a mile from McNears Beach, is expected to start a reclamation project on July 9 in accordance with its quarry permit conditions. In agreement with California law, a section of quarry land that is no longer viable for mining will be restored through a multi-year effort. This year’s work will be limited to 10 weeks and focus on approximately seven acres of land.

A ground-level view of the rock quarry in San Rafael with three people in hardhats seen in the distance.The reclamation work this summer will include grading of approximately 300,000 square feet of the northeast quadrant of the quarry.
The Dutra Group, which has owned the quarry since 1986, will handle the reclamation effort. The work this summer will include grading of approximately 300,000 square feet of the northeast quadrant of the quarry, followed by erosion and sediment control measures. After that, vegetation restoration will take place.

The Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW), which is the permitting agency for the quarry’s ongoing operation, has secured the services of Sonoma Technologies, Inc. to independently monitor air quality during the reclamation project, including dust and emissions. The $250,000 contract for the service will cover the initial two years of the project. However, based on the results of the monitoring, the contract may be extended.

This summer’s worksite is located approximately a quarter mile from Marin Bay Park, a residential area above Point San Pedro Road. While Dutra has planned to follow all possible precautions, the monitoring measures are intended to ensure that the work stays within state and federal standards.  

Additionally, noise and seismic activity at the quarry are already being independently monitored by Vibra-Tech Engineers, Inc. for approximately $40,000 annually. Vibra-Tech’s service is expected to continue beyond the scope of the reclamation project to ensure noise and seismic activity thresholds imposed are not exceeded. Dutra will reimburse the County for the full cost of both independent services contracts as well as any associated DPW staff time.

The process of the reclamation project began in 2004 when the Dutra Group first applied for a permit to do the state-mandated work. Following a five-year environmental review, the permit was granted in 2010 with a variety of conditions of approval such as air, noise and seismic monitoring. Based on the various conditions, Dutra submitted an amended permit application in 2014. However, work did not begin because of the detection of a California red-legged frog, a species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The project was delayed to allow time to consult with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and determine the best course of action.

Dutra has continued to work with USFWS and an industry specialist, Sequoia Ecological Consulting, Inc., to plan for proper handling of the frog and protecting its habitat. In February 2018, the Dutra Group re-submitted plans for the grading permit and included the assessment, monitoring and avoidance protocol for the red-legged frog. The permit for the reclamation work expires in 2024, but the current timeline of the project anticipates that it will be completed over the next four summers.

Contact:

Berenice Davidson
Principal Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3770
Email: Berenice Davidson
DPW Website