The public and Zone 7 Water Agency will learn about a potential delay, perhaps of many years, before two gravel pit lakes will be turned over to Zone 7 at its 920-acre Eliot Quarry on Livermore’s west side.
The lakes are supposed to become part of a Chain of Lakes that Zone 7 will use for water storage. The agency will not have to pay for them.
Cemex is scheduled for the Aug. 21 Zone 7 board meeting agenda to talk about the possible delay in transferring. The firm did not release any information for the agenda packet, according to Zone 7 staff.
Cemex has promised for years that it will turn over Lakes A and B to Zone 7 for the Chain of Lakes, which will link up to other gravel quarries that eventually will be mined out. Cemex needs to file a reclamation plan with the county in order to show what the lakes will look like. But about four years ago, Cemex said it wanted to mine Lake A for another five to seven years, instead of halting operations by 2018, and filing a reclamation plan then.
However, neighbors north of Lake A in a west Livermore neighborhood organized to oppose further mining. They cited truck noise, dust and the possible undermining of their homes from the nearby digging. In response, Cemex announced in August 2017 that it would not continue mining Lake A, and will restore the natural area. It also will add a 3-mile non-permeable surface bike-pedestrian trail.
However, Cemex has said since then that it wants to dig deeper in Lake B, which means they will try to mine more aggregate, and that will take longer. Presumably, it will delay the timing of turning Lake B over to Zone 7.
The quarries turn into lakes, because the firm mines below the water table level. An example of this is found at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, halfway between Livermore and Pleasanton.
Cemex will have a third Lake, Lake J, but that won’t join the Chain of Lakes. That area will be part of land used for a processing plant for the mines. Lake J will be restored to the natural environment.
The Zone 7 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the board room, 100 North Canyons Parkway, Livermore.