Welcome to the Blog section of the Haystack Landing website.

As you look around the website we believe you will rethink the claims of some opponents of the plant. Asphalt is a very necessary part of our everyday lives—the hybrid car we are proud of driving cruises along on asphalt, as does our bikes and strollers. The surfaces our kids play on every day are made with asphalt. On the issue of health, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District performed a health risk assessment on the proposed plant and found no significant health risk. We of course would accept nothing less. And so it goes, so please check it out! Click here to download a PDF of the BAAQMD report.

Aimi Dutra Accepts Emerging Business Partner Award from HeadsUpSan Rafael, CA-The Dutra Group and Aimi Dutra have received the Emerging Business Partner Recognition Award from HeadsUp, San Rafael’s Public Education Foundation. The organization works to sustain important education programs that have been threatened by school budget cuts.

The company first became involved with HeadsUp when Aimi Dutra, Community Relations for The Dutra Group, helped plan SummerFest, a youth carnival that raised nearly $90,000 for San Rafael’s public schools. She has remained an active supporter since then, and appreciates HeadsUp for the recognition and continuing partnership.

The Dutra Group’s collaboration with HeadsUp will help to continue elementary school music programs, ensure school libraries stay open, preserve elementary and high school counseling programs and maintain outdoor education programs. HeadsUp thanked them for their involvement, saying, “Your commitment to public education helps create the excellence our students deserve. We are deeply thankful!”

The partnership will help to ensure that important education programs continue, and The Dutra Group is happy to collaborate with San Rafael City Schools to preserve the quality of education for local children and families.

“We are grateful to be involved with HeadsUp and give back to the area that has provided me and my family with so much. We look forward to continuing to be partners with organizations that work to strengthen our community and Marin County” – stated Aimi Dutra.

San Rafael, CA-The Dutra Group announced today that it has added a hopper dredge, the Stuyvesant, to its fleet of dredges, marking an historic day in the company’s history. At 372 feet in length and 72 feet wide, the Stuyvesant is the second largest hopper dredge in the United States. Bill Dutra, President and CEO of The Dutra Company, says, “This ship will be a welcome addition to our fleet and its size will allow us greater flexibility in our operations.”

The Stuyvesant joins a growing fleet of Dutra dredging equipment that actively clears shipping channels and performs other important maritime-related work in the United States. The Dutra Company has long been involved in key dredging activities, such as maintaining clear and navigable water channels, performing emergency repair work and conducting other activities for a host of valued customers, including those in both the private and public sectors.

Bill Dutra notes that, “We are excited and proud that the addition of the Stuyvesant to the national hopper dredge fleet will bring significant and needed dredging capacity to strengthen the flow of goods and cargo from our nation’s ports.” Dutra adds, “With the Stuyvesant joining our fleet family, we believe we’ll be able to contribute to the recovery of our vital, but bruised economy, and at the same time feel good about doing our part to enhance and sustain our great nation.”

CedarsRecently, The Dutra Group donated gravel and rock material to the Cedars of Marin’s Textile Art Center for the asphalt of an important road in desperate need of a major repair. Working alongside Ghilotti Bros. Contractors, The Dutra Group was proud to help this local nonprofit that provides quality, residential care and day activities for adults with developmental disabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about The Cedars of Marin or donate to this valuable organization, please click here.

We would like to invite you to visit our website: www.dutramuseum.com.

In this comprehensive website, you can get a background of the Northern California dredging industry and the Dutra family’s involvement in reclaiming the California Delta.  We hope you enjoy it!

As you may have read in the news recently, an opposition group of the Haystack Landing asphalt facility has filed a lawsuit to stop our project from moving forward. While we are disappointed by this course of action, this latest tactic comes as no surprise as we’ve been expecting it ever since receiving our approval from the Board of Supervisors in mid-December.

After more than 5 years of going through the approval process, we are certain that the Haystack Landing project has undergone an extremely thorough and public review process. We remain equally confident that all the proper environmental studies were performed and that our proposal has adequately addressed all the findings with regard to potential impacts.

We believe in this project and we are determined to bring a clean, state-of-the-art asphalt plant to this community. That’s why we will strongly defend our position in the courts so we can finally create a local source of asphalt for the southern Sonoma County region.

Thank you again for your support for the Haystack Landing project. We hope that we can continue to count on you to stay engaged as we present our case in the court of law. If you have any questions or comments on these recent events – please do not hesitate to contact me at adutra@dutragroup.com.





Aimi Dutra

On Friday, January 21, 2011, Bill Dutra, President and CEO of Dutra Award_1The Dutra Group, received the prestigious Management Award from The Beavers at its 56th Annual Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles. The Beavers is the leading and most prominent organization within the heavy engineering construction industry.

Each year, The Beavers pays tribute to those individuals who stand out and Dutra Award_3 make significant achievements in the engineering construction business. The Management Award was awarded to Bill Dutra for his leadership in building The Dutra Group into the West Coast leader in aggregates, dredging and marine construction services.

“I am very grateful to accept this award from a group of people that I both respect and admire”, stated Bill Dutra. “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by your peers and I share this accolade with all the valued employees at The Dutra Group who made it possible.”

Dutra pioneered the use of hydraulic excavation equipment in North American dredging and distinguished himself in the field of underwater blasting excavation for the sunken tunnel on Boston’s “Big Dig”. A graduate of Oregon Institute of Technology, Bill Dutra started his own construction business with 3 employees which he grew into a multi-million dollar business that now employs over 175 people.

Founded in 1955, The Beavers is a social, honorary organization formed, organized and managed by the construction companies and individuals who are or have engaged in heavy engineering construction. The purpose of the Beavers is to promote goodwill, friendliness and consideration within the heavy engineering construction industry; to give recognition to those men and women who have demonstrated particular skill, responsibility and integrity; and to encourage and support entry of promising young individuals into heavy engineering construction.

Headquartered in San Rafael, CA, The Dutra Group is a nationally recognized leader in the Dredging, Marine Construction and Aggregate Production industries. It is made up of four distinct but integrated companies: Dutra Dredging, Construction, Materials and Equipment.

After a long, tough road, I’m delighted to say that it’s finally over! We have earned the official approval from the Board of Supervisors to create our Haystack Landing asphalt facility in Petaluma.

Without question, your support and determined efforts made this outcome possible. Thank you for attending the countless public hearings. Thank you for your constant emails to the Supervisors. Thank you for writing letters-to-the-editors of the local newspapers. And finally, thank you for taking a stand on this issue. You made your voice heard on this project and the elected officials could not ignore it.

Today marks the beginning of our return to Petaluma. We understand that we must work hard to earn the trust and acceptance from many people in this community and we intend to do just that. That’s the reason we’re entirely committed to being active community partners.

Thanks again for your support for the Haystack Landing project. We could not have made this happen without you. If you have any questions or comments – please do not hesitate to contact me at adutra@dutragroup.com.



Aimi Dutra


What:      Final Board of Supervisors Meeting

Where:   Board of Supervisors Chambers

                     575 Administrative Dr., Room 102a, Santa Rosa, CA

When:     December 14, 2010

Time:       1:30pm

Dear Supporters,

I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for the support you’ve given us throughout this emotional and lengthy approval process. In case you hadn’t already heard, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors tentatively approved our reduced proposal for the Haystack Landing asphalt facility.

With the October 12th board meeting lasting well over four hours, the Supervisors heard from countless residents standing up in support of the Haystack Landing proposal. The entire Dutra family was both overjoyed and humbled by the amount of support in attendance. We know that we could not have done it without you. (continue reading…)

Aimi Dutra is community affairs director for Dutra Materials

The Dutra name has been a part of Sonoma County for more than 20 years, providing a local source of aggregate and asphalt throughout the North Bay. On Tuesday, before the Board of Supervisors, we will present our plan for a new and environmentally superior asphalt facility in southern Sonoma County.

Over the last year, since our last hearing before the board, we have listened carefully to comments and suggestions provided by the community, and our new proposal is significantly different from our original application. (continue reading…)

Please attend the final public hearing in support of the Haystack Landing project. The meeting details are below:

Board of Supervisors Hearing

            Date:           Tuesday, October 12, 2010

           Time:            2:00pm            

         Where:           Sonoma County Administration Building
                                     575 Administration Drive, Room 102A
                                     Santa Rosa, CA 95403


An important community forum will take place in Petaluma on our proposal to create an asphalt plant in southern Sonoma County. After many delays in the process, this vital project is moving closer to a final decision.

The upcoming meeting is sponsored by the Petaluma Health Care District. We hope you can attend!

When:    Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time:     7:00 – 9:00 pm

Where:   Lucchesi Park Community Center

                 320 North McDowell Blvd.

                 Petaluma, CA

Dear Supporters,

I hope you and your family are enjoying the start of summer. Before you get too busy planning vacations and weekend barbeques, I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to update you on our Haystack Landing project.

As you may know, we have been working actively with County staff since the continuance of our last Board of Supervisors meeting back in July 2009. It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a whole year since our last public hearing. However, we have worked hard, as we have made major reductions to our proposal and are confident that we have found the right compromise that will finally provide southern Sonoma County with an asphalt resource. Our project team is optimistic that we have a plan to create an asphalt facility that will be remarkably sensitive to its surroundings and provide a vital asset to the community.

(continue reading…)

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is set to consider the modified proposal for Haystack Landing on Tuesday, August 24th.

Postponement of earlier hearing dates were made to allow for more review by County staff of the project’s significant modifications and reductions. 

A discussion and possible decision on a proposed asphalt plant has been set for May 11 after an incomplete application prevented a March 16 meeting.

The Dutra Group, which submitted a revised plan for its asphalt plant along the Petaluma River just south of town on Jan. 29, requested that the meeting be set for May 11 last week after learning that the county’s permit review department needed more information on its proposal. The department sent a letter to the company on March 8 saying that its application lacks certain information and could not be addressed by the county’s Board of Supervisors on March 16.

Dutra plans to share a barge offloading site with Shamrock Materials, which has a plant just north of the Dutra property. An electric conveyor belt would then bring rock material from the Shamrock site about 600 feet south to the Dutra site. Dutra claims the plan eliminates concerns over noise and emissions raised over its previous plan to build a new barge offloading site on the river.

According to the county permit review department’s March 8 letter, Dutra needs to provide more information on operations at the Shamrock site, more details on the Shamrock’s electric crane and the proposed electric conveyor belt, and a signed agreement between Dutra and Shamrock to use Shamrock’s site. The department also said that Dutra must pay about $44,000 for application costs and staff processing time.

- Argus Courier, March 22

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the inaccurate and malicious statements against our company made by Mr. David Keller in his recent opinion piece in the Argus-Courier.

The fact is that it’s easy to simply oppose anything and everything as Mr. Keller so often does. The most difficult tasks are those that attempt to create something tangible that will benefit Sonoma County and to do so in a manner that is sensitive to the community and the environment. That is our mission with our Haystack Landing proposal.

(continue reading…)

To further show our commitment to providing southern Sonoma County with a local asphalt resource, The Dutra Group has offered to completely eliminate the construction of a new barge offloading facility at Haystack Landing. Dutra barges will dock at the existing, nearby Landing Way facility and transport materials via electric conveyor belt to the site. The new modification nullifies any potential concerns on the navigability of the river and lessens other project impacts. Read the Argus Courier article about the revised plan here.

Read the Argus Courier editorial here on why it is so important to maintain commercial traffic on the Petaluma River.

Prompted by outside influences, the US Coast Guard notified The Dutra Group that it would like to conduct an additional study of the project’s barge offloading operations to ensure that the Haystack Landing facility does not interfere with recreational activity on the Petaluma River. In order to give its recommendation to the Board, the Coast Guard will have to visit the site to make its decision. Please read the Press Democrat story here.

Much-needed asphalt resource
by Aimi Dutra

My family and I appreciate the opportunity to communicate directly with you regarding our proposed Haystack Landing asphalt facility. We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support from countless Petalumans throughout this process.

The Haystack Landing project will provide a much-needed asphalt resource for southern Sonoma County and serve as an economic boost to the greater Petaluma area. The demand for asphalt is best met by local plants distributed around the county. Petaluma is the second-largest city in Sonoma County, and it is vital to have an asphalt plant in the Petaluma area, just as there has always been in the past. If a local source of aggregate and asphalt were not available, importing these resources from more remote locations would dramatically increase greenhouse emissions and costs. (continue reading…)