Eliot Quarry
Eliot Mine

Glossary

Alameda County Surface Mining Ordinance (ACSMO). A county ordinance regulating surface mining operations in unincorporated portions of Alameda County. 

Arroyo del Valle Corridor (“Arroyo”). A 36.4-mile, westward flowing creek that begins in Santa Clara County and flows into Alameda County where it is dammed to form Lake del Valle. The Arroyo flows through the southern portion of the Eliot Mine. 

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). California’s environmental protection law, CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of proposed projects or development activity under their review and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

Chain of Lakes. A term used in the Specific Plan for Livermore-Amador Valley Quarry Area Reclamation to describe a master reclamation plan that requires mined areas to be shaped and converted into lakes for the purposes of water diversion and conveyance.

East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). A public agency that manages a system of parkland and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, comprised of over 114,000 acres, including more than 1,200 trails, spread over 65 parks. The EBRPD is responsible for acquiring, managing and preserving these resources.

Environmental Impact Report (EIR). A detailed report written by the lead agency describing and analyzing the significant environmental effects of a proposed project, identifying alternatives and discussing ways to reduce or avoid the possible environmental damage. The EIR process begins with the circulation of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft EIR, which informs the public and government agencies that an EIR is being prepared for a project.

Mean Sea Level (MSL). The height of the ground relative to the average sea level.

Reclamation Plan and Reclamation Plan Amendment. A document required by SMARA that establishes how mined land will be restored to a usable state that is beneficial to the public once mining is complete.

SMARA. California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. Passed by the state of California in 1975, SMARA provides a comprehensive policy for the regulation of surface mining operations and establishes the process to restore the land to assure that adverse environmental impacts are minimized and mined lands are returned to a usable condition. 

Specific Plan for Livermore – Amador Valley Quarry Area Reclamation Plan (LAVQAR). Adopted by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in November 1981, it is a master reclamation plan that would shape mined pit areas into a “Chain of Lakes” and return the remaining mined lands to productive uses after the removal of sand and gravel reserves. 

Streambed alteration agreement (SAA). A California Department of Fish and Wildlife approval required for a proposed activity that may substantially modify a stream. An SAA includes reasonable conditions necessary to protect resources and must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Surface Mining Permit (SMP). The permit that allows mining to commence. The permit requires a plan for returning the land to a usable condition, which is readily adaptable for alternate land use (known as a “reclamation plan”), and requires a mine operator to demonstrate it has the financial resources to guarantee the costs of reclamation. A surface mining permit is not required for vested mining operations.

Vested rights. Under SMARA, vested rights to mine exist if, prior to January 1, 1976, an entity had diligently commenced surface mining operations and incurred substantial liabilities for work and materials necessary for the surface mining operations. A vested right holder does not need a permit to conduct surface mining operations, but does require a reclamation plan.

Zone 7 Water Agency. A semi-independent agency in Alameda County that supplies drinking water to retailers that serve more than 220,000 people. Zone 7 also supplies water for irrigation of over 3,500 acres of agricultural land, mainly comprised of South Livermore Valley vineyards. Lastly, Zone 7 provides flood protection to all 425 square miles of eastern Alameda County.