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Reports, Studies, and Letters of Information

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Environmental Impact Reports

Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD)

PRMD's mission is to serve the people of Sonoma County by providing a customer-focused process for the orderly development of real property, balanced with resource stewardship under the general policy direction of the Board of Supervisors and to develop and maintain standards that protect the health and safety of the public.

Roblar Road Quarry Environmental Impact Reports (EIR)

Open Space

Documents related to the use, or attempted use, of publicly-funded Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD) land by the developer to reduce costs, avoid regulations, and side-step burdensome mitigation.  The related agricultural preservation easement is the Roblar Ranch easement on Roblar Road in Petaluma, CA.  The developer failed in his attempt to extract, out of the SCAPOSD, a haul route easement exchange but was successful in his bid to mitigate endangered species protection on the Roblar Ranch Property.  Please go to our Open Space Issues section for a more in depth description.

Public reports from the quarry developer, County of Sonoma staff, and Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD):

Roblar Road Quarry Easement Exchange Application Packet

Dated October 18, 2010. The application packet from the developer and his representatives requesting the County allow the developor to put a private haul route across Open Space protected land and a proposal for the authority to mitigate endangered species protection on the same preserved land.

Roblar Staff Report

Dated October 15, 2010. County of Sonoma Staff Report listing final Planning Commission recommendations including the approval of the Alternative Haul Route.

Letter from Stephen Butler, Counsel for Quarry Developer

Dated September 29, 2010. Letter to the SCAPOSD requesting the Open Space District to consider a contingency request - in case the private alternative haul route across open space land failed in a Director vote (which it did) - which was to still consider the Developer's request to mitigate endangered species, for private development, on publicly protected open space land.

Open Space District Summary Letter

Dated December 7, 2010.  A letter from the SCAPOSD notifying the District Board of Directors that the ultimate authorities on the mitigation issue of California tiger salamanders and California red-legged frogs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game, had not weighed in on the developer's proposal to do species mitigation on public land.  And that the Open Space District General Manager still recommended an Amendment of the existing easement over an Interpretation of the easement to allow the mitigation to go forward against the objections of one of the conservation easement holders.  However the Board of Directors approved the mitigation proposal without recommendation from the overriding government agencies and went against the General Manager by approving an unprecedented easement Interpretation. 

SCAPOSD Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) letters to the Board of Directors addressing the weighty issues of private use alternative route and endangered species mitigation:

The Committee advises the District Board and staff on policy matters and making recommendations for proposed easement or land acquisitions. Subcommittees such as Acquisition and Stewardship may be formed for specific issues related to the District's program. (Source: www.sonomaopenspace.org/Content/10116/preview.html)  The CAC considered the developer's proposals in their regular meetings and nearly unanimously voted against the proposals in their Board advisement role.

Dated October 11, 2010.  CAC Letter advising against the proposed alternative route across open space protected land for reasons such as the erosion of public trust.

Dated November 4, 2010.  CAC Letter advising against the proposed mitigation of endangered species on publicly protected open space land for the benefit of a private developer. 

Letters from leading open space land protection advocates and purveyors against the proposed private uses of public open space land submitted by the developer.

Huey Johnson letter - Huey Johnson is a leading and long time open space protection advocate, helping found organizations such as the Trust for Public Land and Green Belt Movement International. 

Ted Eliot letter - Ted Eliot  was the Co-Chair of the 2006 Measure F Campaign which worked to gain voter approval for an extension of the SCAPOSD sales tax.

Sonoma Land Trust - Sonoma Land Trust has protected over 25,000 acres of scenic, natural, agricultural and open landscapes of Sonoma County.

Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) - MALT has permanently protected nearly half of the farmland in Marin County and is working to protect the rest.

The Federal Register report placing the area of Roblar Road in the Critical Habitat Area for the Sonoma County tiger salamander.

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Expert Reports

Expert reports written by commentators experienced in their respective fields questioning the validity of assumptions made in the Environmental Impact Report written to overcome substantial environmental concerns.  Many of the concerns were raised by CARRQ members and County citizens resulting in the project approved by the County approving with 180 conditions that must be met.

Ground and Surface water quality impacts evaluated by hydrologist:

Hydrologist's assessment of FEIR water quality issues

Hydrologist's response to developer's revised water management plan

Economics report by an experienced economist about the cost/benefits of the quarry.  The County's decision-making was influenced by their belief that there is a large demand for rock within the County; it is environmentally superior to quarry rock on Roblar regardless of buried toxins in the nearby closed landfill and the potential for releases of nitrous oxide  (most severe green house gas) and provide cheap rock (below market prices) for projects.  These are astounding claims and the report puts the economic assertions to the test. 

Economic Report of the Quarry

Biologist's opinion on the portion of the Final EIR that the County re-circulated after there was a 'sudden' discovery of the federally endangered California tiger salamander.  For some reason, two previous biological surveys failed to detect the salamander, which a neighbor of the quarry site, who happens to be a retired high school biology teacher, repeatedly stated existed there.  Guess he was right.

Biologist Opinion on the affects to endangered species of quarry operations and proposed mitigation

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Agency Letters

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

The federal Clean Water Act gives authority to each state to issue a 401 Water Quality Certification (401 Certification) for any project that needs a Federal 404 Permit. The 401 Certification is a verification by the state that the project will not violate water quality standards.  The North Coast Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQCB) has yet to issue a permit for the quarry and there has been no application to date by the developer for a permit; to the best of our knowledge.  Please submit your concerns to the Board regarding water quality issues in and surrounding the site.

First Letter from the NCRWQCB to the Sonoma County PRMD office regarding the Final EIR - Dated December 15, 2009

This was a great letter from the Board that stated at the end of its assessment: "In summary, the FEIR falls short of outlining a clear path to avoid groundwater impacts to receiving waters."

Second Letter from the NCRWQCB to the Sonoma County PRMD office regarding the new water mitigation efforts - Dated October 12, 2010

In a reversal of its earlier stance, the Board gives an unofficial lukewarm approval to the new mitigation plan, which CARRQ still has concerns with - please see Hydrologists opinion above.  Some of the continuing concerns are: the unknown nature of the toxins in the adjoining uncapped toxic landfill, no new available data, the idea of 100% storm-water runoff capture, inability to store all the overburden on site, and the additional trucks needed to haul out the overburden (not calculated in the current traffic/haul route plan).  Please see our Issues tab for more information.

City of Cotati

10/4/2010. City of Cotati resolution against the rock quarry application by North Bay Construction Inc. due to its unresolved impacts to the City of Cotati, including road disrepair and safety, and Cotati's neighbors.  It was approved unanimously. 

City of Petaluma

10/18/2010. City of Petaluma draft resolution against Sonoma County's approval of the Final EIR based on three reasons: inadequate environmental impact evaluation, indemnification concerns, and inappropriate use of open space.  The resolution passed.

Dunham School

5/4/2010. A letter by Dunham School, located on Roblar Road, opposed to the approval of a quarry on Roblar Road.

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CARRQ and Allies Authored Comments

Letters written by organizations concerned about the impacts of the quarry on safety, health, quality of life, and environment.

Community Clean Water Institute Opposition Letter

Paula Lane Action Network Biological Opinion

Russian Riverkeeper Comments

Sebastopol Water Information Group Letter

Sierra Club Opposition Letter

Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee Letter of Opposition to the Proposed Quarry

A sample of some of the many comments written by CARRQ and its supporters. For additional comments submitted by CARRQ please see the Final EIR on the County website.

Roblar - Farm and Ranch Economic Study - A study showing the real cost to jobs of the quarry: The quarry will create at most 10 jobs, but puts than 250 jobs in agriculture put in jeopardy!

12/17/2009.  CARRQ comments to the Sonoma County Planning Commission

6/1/2010.  CARRQ Letter to the Sonoma County Planning Commission

10/18/2010.  CARRQ Letter regarding objections to the DEIR

Board Member Comments on the California tiger salamander found on the quarry site.

Board Member letter on the possibility of overburden transported from the quarry site to the Mecham Landfill.

Published Letter in the Press Democrat signed by a coalition of people, from local ranchers to government officials, against the private haul route proposed across open space land.
 

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