The Saltworks Site
The Saltworks property was first put to agricultural use in the 1890s and has manufactured salt since 1901. Cargill has proudly owned the Saltworks since 1978. While salt production remains an important part of Cargill’s operations, a unique opportunity exists to help alleviate some of the region’s generational challenges by reimagining a new future for the Redwood City Saltworks facility.
Salt production begins on the western side of the Redwood City Salt Plant.
1940: The federal government issues a permit to enclose this site and fully sever it from San Francisco Bay by perimeter levees. 1940-1951: Interior levees are constructed and the crystallizer harvesting complex is graded, compacted, and lined with clay.
Cargill donates and sells 10,000 acres of former salt production facilities to the state of California for conservation purposes.
Cargill donates and sells 16,500 acres to federal and state resources agencies.
Cargill and DMB Pacific form a venture (Saltworks) to explore potential alternative uses for the site including transportation, residential, office, recreation, open space, and restoration.
Saltworks formally requests an Approved Jurisdictional Determination (JD) from the federal government to ascertain the applicability of certain environmental laws to the interior industrial portions of the site.
Senior regulatory and legal officials at the Corps conclude that the Clean Water Act does not apply to the industrial portions of the site and notify the EPA of their intent to issue a JD.
The Corps finalizes its conclusions regarding the JD and notifies EPA of its intent to release the JD. EPA formally asserts “special case” authority to preempt Corps issuance of its JD and effectively suspends consideration of alternative future uses of the industrial site.
The site remains an active salt harvesting facility, but an opportunity exists to reimagine Saltworks with input from the community.
The mechanical harvesting of salt occurs in crystallizers ‒ engineered beds that are rolled, graded, sloped and compacted. Today, this is a working manufacturing site.
Donating more than $150 million in land value, Cargill conveyed over 40,000 acres to public wildlife agencies.