Officials in Santa Clara County, Calif., claim that Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. has amassed more than 2,100 violations from local, state and federal agencies over a 10-year period, a report that Lehigh Southwest Cement calls an “inaccurate characterization.”
At the request of Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, the county compiled and issued the review of violations taking place at the Lehigh property in unincorporated Cupertino. The Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation (HLUET) Committee reviewed the report May 19 and forwarded it to the Board of Supervisors for its consideration, according to a story in the Los Altos Town Crier.
“Lehigh Southwest Cement is committed to operating in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” said Jeff Sieg, director of Lehigh Hanson Inc. corporate communications. “We disagree with the inaccurate characterization that Lehigh has not been transparent or worked in good faith to address any and all concerns of noncompliance. The narrative provided by the county unfortunately misrepresents the true compliance status at the facility and does not accurately reflect the dedicated efforts of our employees, who work in good faith to ensure compliance at the site every day. We have and will continue to work cooperatively with all agencies and government entities that regulate the (quarry) site.”
Of the 2,100 violations, Simitian admitted that over the 10-year period, only 100 were serious. Earlier this year, he proposed that the county purchase the 3,510-acre site, providing some context for his effort to discredit the operation. Most of the land – 2,656 acres – is reportedly in the county’s jurisdiction, with the remaining acreage in Cupertino and Palo Alto, Calif.