This is a letter from Gary Latshaw, Ph.D. to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors regarding Regulation 11, Rule 18.Latshaw Letter 11-18 as Submitted 10-9-2017 email removed
Download the PDF here.
Dear Clean Environment Supporters,
On Thursday, July 28 BACE (Bay Area for Clean Environment) suffered a legal setback when a state appeals court upheld an earlier decision ruling that vested rights to conduct surface mining operations existed on much of Lehigh’s roughly 3,500 acre quarry in the hills west of Cupertino and Los Altos.
BACE filed a lawsuit on behalf of Santa Clara County residents following a February 8, 2011 decision by the County Board of Supervisors declaring that mining operations on 13 of 19 parcels of land qualified as legal nonconforming use. This meant that Lehigh could expand its operations into those parcels without public review and consideration of public health and welfare that a use permit and mining permit would require. (16 page court decision)
Obviously it is a disappointing ruling, but BACE remains committed to protecting citizens health, quality of life, and our local environment. The legal challenge that you all supported delayed any expansion at the quarry for more than five years and, more importantly, united neighboring cities in supporting our efforts for the first time. The Town of Los Altos Hills, City of Los Altos, Town of Portola Valley, and the City of Sunnyvale, joined the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Committee for Green Foothills, and Breathe California in an amicus brief supporting BACE’s appeal. Local communities and their elected officials are aware as never before of the presence and impact of this major industrial facility in our midst. But we have much more to do.
Our Work Continues.
Legal: BACE has a second lawsuit that will be heard by an appeals court next month. This case focuses on what BACE considers serious deficiencies in Lehigh’s current reclamation plan. (read our complaint)
Noise: BACE will be creating a petition on Change.org to support the City of Cupertino’s efforts to reduce the noise levels from Lehigh. If you hear a persistent humming, especially in the evening and at night please click here and sign our petition. You do not need to be a Cupertino resident to sign the petition. We need to send a clear message to Santa Clara County that regulates and enforces the noise ordinances.
Expansion: Finally, we need to prepare to fight any mining expansion by Lehigh. If you are deeply concerned about any expansion of surface mining in our local foothills please contact BACE. Write us a brief message about your concerns and how you might be willing to help with this particular issue. We will respond to every message.
Thank you for your continuing support.
— The BACE Team
Please forward this email to your friends, family, and neighbors.
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Lehigh Southwest Cement Company for failing to properly report releases of toxic chemicals at its Cupertino, Calif. plant. The company is required to pay a $47,600 penalty and spend $144,250 to fund projects that support local emergency response and limit future releases from the plant.
See the news that we helped make fighting Lehigh to force them to protect our air
Cupertino council welcomes new members, says goodbye to others. Lehigh pollution a factor. – December 03, 2014
A Victory! After much pressure from BACE and other citizen groups, the Lehigh Cement Plant has agreed to replace the central smokestack they illegally removed in the 1960’s. – January 13, 2014
Communities Across the Country Bombarded By Pollution Urge EPA to Follow Current Science – Earthjustice
News July 3, 2013
Exposure to high pollution levels during pregnancy may increase risk of having child with autism. Is the cement plan causing our Autism epidemic? Harvard School of Public Health – June 18, 2013
Lehigh Cement, Sierra Club reach settlement on Permanente Creek suit – Mercury News – May 2, 2013
Lehigh cement settles Cupertino pollution suit for $10 million – April 25, 2013
Communities Ask Court for Protection from Toxic Air Pollution – April 17, 2013
Are The New Weakened Cement Standards Enough? – January 14, 2013
Christmas Comes Early for Cement Industry – December 22, 2012
EPA imposes new pollution limits on boilers, cement plants – December 21, 2012
Boiler, Incinerator and Cement Cleanup will Cut Pollution and Save Lives – December 21, 2012
Lehigh Quarry’s Toxic Impact on Local Air and Watershed – December 21, 2012
Lehigh at the Center of Two Lawsuits – November 29, 2012
Great presentation at City Hall today by Dr. Gary Latshaw, the Air Quality Chairman of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club. The slides are available here (34 Megs, Powerpoint). – August 12, 2012
Lehigh Prevails with Supes Decision on Reclamation Plan – June 22 2012
After Stinging Commentary, County Postpones Cement Hearing – March 9, 2012