County Boosts Oversight Capacity at Lehigh Cement Plant and Quarry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         
August 13, 2019


 SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors today voted to increase funding for oversight at Lehigh Cement Plan and Quarry in the Cupertino Foothills.

 In a unanimous vote, the Board increased funding for a contract with Ascent Environmental to provide professional planning oversight of the quarry, which is in the process of applying for a new mining pit.

 “A project of this size and scope requires particular care, which is why we’ve increased our investment in expertise,” said Board President Joe Simitian, whose Fifth District includes the quarry. “Today’s vote demonstrates our Board’s commitment to getting it right.”

 The Board approved an increase in the contract amount from $366,608 to $593,804. All costs will be reimbursed by Lehigh Southwest Cement Company.

 Lehigh Permanente Quarry is a surface mining operation located in the unincorporated area of the City of Cupertino. In May, Lehigh applied to expand mining operations within the main pit and in a new area southwest of the Rock Plant. That application is currently under review by the County’s Planning Department.

 The expanded consulting contract approved today will help manage the application and provide planning and environmental expertise.

 After returning to the Board of Supervisors in 2013, Simitian asked the County to step up its oversight role by increasing on-site inspections, and organized biannual coordination meetings involving all local, state, and federal agencies with jurisdiction over Lehigh operations. Simitian also hosts a yearly community meeting where residents can have their questions answered and hear from the regulatory agencies directly.

 “Given that at least eight regulatory agencies have a role to play at the site it’s particularly important that we have the expertise available – right from the start – to ensure a thorough, comprehensive review,” said Simitian.


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