published on July 14, 2017 - 10:41 AM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — The last remaining sand mine in the United States will close in 2020.

The California Coastal Commission unanimously approved an agreement Thursday to shut down the Lapis Sand Plant located on a remote beach in Monterey County.

Experts say the operation has caused devastating erosion in Monterey Bay. The company denies that the plant was the cause.

Such operations were banned from the California coast 27 years ago.

Operator Cemex USA continued its operations because of a loophole in state law.

The agreement will allow the operator to extract smaller amounts of sand from the 8-acre site for three years. The company must protect the environment while operations are phased out.

Eventually the land will be sold to a nonprofit organization or governmental entity that would provide public access.

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