William J. “Bill” Almon was a friend to BACE and a local leader in the fight to reduce the negative impacts of the Lehigh Cement Plant and Quarry on our communities. While a successful high tech executive, and devoted husband and father, we knew Bill best as a highly informed, plain speaking, persistent champion of the local environment. In retirement he made it his mission to understand the vast and complicated operations of Lehigh, currently the largest single source of mercury emission in the Bay Area and the largest single source polluter of green house gasses in the south bay. He was not afraid to take on the multi-national corporation, testifying at local and state hearings whenever Lehigh was on the agenda. When Bill spoke people listened because what he had to say was valued and valuable. He challenged local and state lawmakers and regulatory agencies to enforce existing environmental laws and pushed for greater oversight and restrictions on the facility, often working behind the scenes with stakeholders to move the fight forward. He funded studies to expose operating or reporting deficiencies at the facility and founded QuarryNo, a grassroots network of voting residents in Santa Clara County committed to preventing future expansion of the cement plant and quarry.
Sadly, Bill passed away June 13, 2016 after a valiant struggle with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. He was 83 years old. We shall miss his counsel, passion and perseverance. We have lost a strong ally in our fight to improve and protect our local and regional environment.