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Simitian Presses for Resolution on Lehigh Violations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            

March 25, 2020


For More Information, Contact:

Charlsie Chang
(408) 299-5050 office
(626) 898-2395 cell 




SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously (5-0) to direct administration to report to the Board on May 12, 2020 (or as soon as practical thereafter) with an update on the status of the Notice of Violation issued to Lehigh Southwest Cement Company on June 13, 2019. The issue was brought to the Board by County Supervisor Joe Simitian. Simitian said his goal is to ensure compliance and “resolve this particular issue once and for all.”


“Look, it’s been nine months since the violation, and we still don’t have a resolution,” said Simitian, whose district includes the Lehigh Cement and Permanente Quarry. “Staff argues one side and Lehigh argues another. We still haven’t gotten a clear resolution, and we need to.”


Lehigh Southwest Cement Company was issued the Notice of Violation in June 2019 for failure to control sedimentation, and failure to comply with approved Reclamation Plan Conditions of Approval. At the December 2019 Housing, Land Use, Environment, and Transportation (HLUET) Committee, Simitian noted that if the Notice of Violation was not closed by early February, he would be bringing the matter to the full Board.

“The Planning Department will be reporting back on the status of this effort so that the Board and the public can get a better understanding of where we are in the process of clearing the violation and ensuring the creek is protected,” said Simitian. “My primary concern is that the violation is abated, and we can be sure the facility is operating lawfully.”


Although the hills outside the City of Cupertino have been mined for limestone since the early 1900s, and the Lehigh cement plant operational since 1958, this heavy industry is now located adjacent to residential neighborhoods, creating ongoing environmental, health and safety challenges. 


After returning to the Board of Supervisors in 2013, Simitian pushed for increased oversight at Lehigh and for the County to step up its oversight role by increasing on-site inspections. Simitian also hosts an annual community meeting where residents can have their questions answered and hear from the relevant regulatory agencies directly.




Last updated: 3/25/2020 9:37 AM