Regional Water Quality Control Board San Francisco
No. R2-2011-0023 (Complaint) [plus other attached
documents] issues an
administrative civil liability (ACL) against the
Lehigh Southwest Cement Company (Lehigh) in the
amount of $10,000. This liability is based on
allegations that Lehigh discharged sediment-laden
water to Permanente Creek that may also have been
polluted by cement plant operations at its 24001
Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino facility.
discharges with potential pollutants from an
industrial process are a direct threat to potential
receptors. The discharges have deleterious effects
on aquatic environments and a variety of aquatic
organisms. Some of the most significant impacts from
increased turbidity and sedimentation in surface
waters include: (1) reduction of light penetration
and decreased rates of photosynthesis (food
generation) within the food chain; (2) reduction in
the respiratory capacity and feeding efficiency of
fish; and (3) smothering of aquatic habitats
decreased survival rates of hatchlings and juvenile
comment hearing will be held on July 13, 2011.
Not sure of time or place yet
News: Water Violation
CIVIL LIABILITY ASSESSMENT COMPLAINT NO.
FORM ACL COMPLAINT NO. R2-2011-0023
PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CIVIL LIABILITY
Public Hearing on the new County 20-year Permit for the
East Material Storage Area Public Hearing on the EIR
Inviting Written Public Comments regarding Lehigh's
Title V Permit application
comments to BAAQMD before deadline
Clara County Board of Supervisors (SCC BOS) Vested
Quarry Legal-Nonconforming Use Analysis" for
February 8, 2011 Hearing
Cities of Los
Altos and Los
Altos Hills have expressed concerns about
Lehigh's intentions to expand their mining
operation. Los Altos Hills is putting a draft
Resolution regarding Lehigh Cement Plant's East
Material Storage Area (EMSA).
Industry files lawsuit against EPA for new Toxic Air a Pollution standards
The Portland Cement Association (PCA)
has filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency’s decision to cut toxic air pollution from
cement kilns. According to the EPA, these cuts would avoid up to
2,500 premature deaths every year and result in up to $18 billion in health benefits.
EPA releases new Toxic Air
a Pollution standards amendment to the Clean Air Act
EPA formally announced an amend its national emissions standards for Portland cement manufacturing to reduce emissions of mercury, total
hydrocarbons, hydrochloric acid and particulate matter from both new and existing cement kilns.
The Cupertino City Council
had a special study session to
review a report from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and discuss air quality regulation, standards and monitoring
issues relating to Lehigh Cement.
BAAQMD described the NOVs they and the EPA had issued Lehigh and the corrective actions being taken to
correct the violations.
You can view exert
of City Councilman Barry Chang's questions to the various agency spokesmen.
Dr. Donald Yee of the San Francisco Estuary Institute
gave a present of results of their study of Mercury Emissions from the Lehigh Cement Plant at DeAnza
The study, funded by the EPA, found that when the plant was operational, mercury deposited
by precipitation was about six times higher at the study site than at the control site. When plant operations were minimized,
mercury deposited by precipitation was about equal at the sites. To quote from the study’s conclusions, “Hg [mercury] emissions from the
cement plant do not all enter the global circulation cycle and undergo long-range transport; Hg is also deposited within the vicinity of the cement plant
through wet deposition.”
Hg species (total mercury, methylmercury, reactive mercury) in precipitation were investigated in the
vicinity of the Lehigh Hanson Permanente Cement Plant in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA., USA. Precipitation was collected weekly between
November 29, 2007 and March 20, 2008, which included the period in February and March 2008 when cement production was minimized during
annual plant maintenance. When the cement plant was operational, the volume weighted mean (VWM) and wet depositional flux for total Hg (HgT) were 6.7
and 5.8 times higher, respectively, compared to a control site located 3.5 km east of the cement plant. In February and March, when cement plant
operations were minimized, levels were approximately equal at both sites (the ratio for both parameters was 1.1). Due to the close proximity between the
two sites, meteorological conditions (e.g., precipitation levels, wind direction) were similar, and therefore higher VWM HgT levels and HgT
deposition likely reflected increased Hg emissions from the cement plant. Methylmercury (MeHg) and reactive Hg (Hg(II)) were also measured; compared to the
control site, the VWM for MeHg was lower at the cement plant (the ratio = 0.75) and the VWM for Hg(II) was slightly higher (ratio = 1.2), which indicated
the cement plant was not likely a significant source of these Hg species to the watershed.
World Journal article about this presentation study.
In a unanimous vote City Council voted to have an air monitor station placed in the
parking lot at Linda Vista Park for 1 year where air and particles will be monitored 24 hrs. to measure levels for potentially toxic emissions
from Lehigh Southwest Cement plant. BAAQMD will analyze and report on the results.
This site is approximately 2
miles from the cement plant. Since there are other sources of pollution measured, emissions will most likely be difficult to pin down as
coming from Lehigh. However if significant amounts of hazardous pollutants are detected this can be used
as a basis for further investigation. This proposal was initiated by Councilperson Barry Chang.
Cupertino City Council voted on draft of
Letter to BAAQMD on May 4th, 2010
Cupertino City Council voted 4 to 1 in favor of sending a letter
championed by Councilperson Barry Chang, a strong proponent of community health/safety and environmental
awareness, to BAAQMD urging them to mandate that Lehigh Cement should construct a
for its exhaust and that EPA's Proposed NESHAP (amended toxic pollution standards which include
mercury) for cement plants be adopted even if the final rules were to eventually have looser limits.
This is the first time that the City
of Cupertino has taken a stand in support of residents who have been complaining about toxic pollution from the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant for
years. This letter was the inspiration of Councilman Barry Chang who ran and was elected for his strong stand on
and safety for residents and the environment. Mayor Kris Wang was the only dissenting vote.
Lehigh Quarry Scoping Meeting
The Public was asked by the County for comments and suggestions regarding the
scope of an amendment to the Reclamation plan as a result of violations for placing overburden onto an unauthorized disturbed area at the
East boundary of their property nearest Cupertino city limits.
This meeting was required by law.
This event was televised and a
video stream is on the City
of Cupertino's website.
Santa Clara County Notice of Violation for
pollution from water runoff to local creeks and land.
EPA Notice of Violation for upgrading facility
from 1995-1997 without doing a "Prevention of Significant Deterioration" to maintain NOX and SO2
levels within Clean Air Act levels.
Cupertino City Council Special Meeting
10350 Torre Avenue, Community Hall Council Chamber next to Library
Tuesday January 12, 2010
Purpose: Study session to help City Council understand regulations governing Lehigh Cement Plant pollution.
Various government agencies have been invited to describe their roles.
The public will comment at the end of formal
presentations. We encourage the public to attend this important meeting.
withdraws Lehigh Southwest Cement Company's Title V permit renewal until EPA's National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air
Pollutants (NESHAP) has finalized new requirements (also referred to as EPA proposed rules) some time in the first half of
2010. These new and tougher requirements will be incorporated into the Title V permit.
They have also
taken public comments into consideration. This is a victory for all those who have fought so hard against Lehigh's Title V renewal in 2009.
Chinese World Journal News
Chinese Singtao News
to BAAQMD how it indents to address the EPA amendments to National Emission Standards for
Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Lehigh outlines trial experiments it intends to perform to reduce toxic emissions.
See also Answers to Frequently asked Questions from Lehigh.
EPA announced its proposed
amendment to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Cement plants that include mercury
limits due to lawsuit from Earthjustice. The is subject to review and scheduled to be formalized some time in the first half of 2010.
Earthjustice Wins Lawsuit against EPA - Due to appeals from local group and
other organizations Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against EPA to address loopholes in the law allowing cement plant liberal
toxic emissions. A federal appeals court ruled that a rulemaking by the Environmental Protection Agency violates the
Clean Air Act by evading mandatory cuts in toxic mercury pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants.