Lehigh Cement Regulatory Update Meeting

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian conducted a public informational meeting at the Cupertino Community Center to discuss the status of the various agency oversight the Lehigh Cement Plant and Quarry owned by HeidelbergCement.

An article from the Los Altos Town Crier summarized the questions and answers from this meeting.

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BACE Appearance at Cupertino City Council Meeting

BACE Board Member updates the Cupertino City Council on the latest violations by the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company resulting in fines by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Lehigh reaches settlement with EPA on latest violation

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.

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/B8B1665FA705DA1A85257EC8006CF367

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EPA fines Lehigh $2.55 million for violating Clean Water Act

On April 29, the EPA announced that to settle charges that it dumped millions of gallons of toxic waste water into Permanente Creek, the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company will pay $2.55 million in civil penalties to the government and will spend an additional $5 million to install an advanced waste water treatment plant to treat the polluted water discharged into the creek.

In announcing the settlement, EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld gave credit to local citizens groups like BACE for calling attention to Lehigh’s actions which were illegal under the Clean Water Act, leading to this settlement. In fact, BACE, along with the Sierra Club, was instrumental in bringing a successful citizen’s action again Lehigh for polluting the creek which triggered the EPA’s response.

During the press conference, Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said:

“By bringing this older facility up to contemporary standards, and by pushing it to introduce cutting-edge treatment technology, the Department of Justice and our partners are helping create a level playing field, where all industry members are held to the same standards and no company can gain an economic advantage over its competitors by shortchanging environmental compliance. “

Many links to this story:

Mercury News   |  SFGATE  |  KTVU ABC7NEWS  |  KRON4  |  EPA

Bizjournals  |  KTSF  |  KTSF (Chinese)  |  World Journal (Chinese)

World Journal (Chinese)  |  Sing-Tao USA (Chinese)