The US Army Corps of Engineers has determined that a proposal to build 12,000 homes on the Cargill Salt pond wetlands in Redwood City is subject to the federal Clean Water Act. The development, proposed by Arizona-based DMB Associates and Cargill Inc, would be the largest on the shores of the San Francisco Bay in 50 years and is being opposed by environmental groups, surrounding cities, and dozens of elected officials.
DMB had maintained that they were not under any federal obligations outlined in the Clean Water Act, which requires developers to obtain a permit from the Army Corp before dredging or filling United State’s waters. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 also states that if a waterway is considered navigable and belonging to the United States, any development may be is prohibited.
DMB and Cargill Inc. are reluctant to admit that the salt ponds proposed for development must undergo these regulations; however they have begun an environmental impact study that will likely take a few years prior to applying for a permit from the Army Corps. The Corps’ finding further demonstrates that this proposed development is unwise and would be extremely destructive to the Bay fragile environmental.