• Petitioned Bay Area Air Quality Management District

This petition was delivered to:

Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Approve More Protective Clean Air Regulations

    1. Petition by

      Bay Area for Clean Environment

      Los Altos, CA

  1.  
  2.   
April 2013

Victory

From Petition Creator: A long-running battle to reduce toxic pollution from a cement plant 40 miles south of San Francisco reached a major milestone in 2012, thanks to the hard work of local citizens, some elected officials, and a huge boost of support from over thousands of people who signed our petitions in the past. Thousands of people have previously have signed petitions asking government officials to take action. Those efforts are working, and now two government agencies - Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Mid-Peninsula Open Space District - are showing true leadership and have taken action. We ask people to sign this petition to thank both agencies and ask that they continue to be active in protecting the residents of the Bay Area from pollution and other impacts from the Lehigh cement plant and quarry. BAAQMD and MROSD: Thanks for Protecting the Residents of the Bay Area from a Polluting Cement Plant

Numerous doctors, environmental organizations and public officials agree: high levels of pollution from cement plants are not healthy. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010 when it set the first national limits to reduce mercury and other toxic emissions from cement plants, “... Mercury can damage children’s developing brains, and particle pollution is linked to a wide variety of serious health effects, including aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and premature death in people with heart and lung disease...”

Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant (Lehigh), the largest single, stationary emitter of toxic air pollutants in Santa Clara County according to 2008 data.  Lehigh is located directly adjacent to Silicon Valley, one of our State's key economic engines as well as a major population center.   It is located adjacent to Cupertino and Los Altos and within a few miles from  Sunnyvale, Los Altos Hills, San Jose, Mountain View, Saratoga, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, and Campbell.  According to the July 2012 Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff report, Lehigh is one of the few cement plants in the country located in an urbanized area. Pollution from the plant is carried by the prevailing winds throughout Silicon Valley and enters the water in the San Francisco Bay and reservoirs through the creeks.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District  (BAAQMD) will publish the regulations for cement plant emissions. Their proposed regulations, just released on July 20th, do NOT impose the most protective and at the same time feasible regulations.  We believe more protective regulations are appropriate for one of the few cement plants in the country that is close to a large metropolitan area. Lehigh is located in close proximity to residential areas and several large schools. 

Annual health costs from the cement plant pollution are estimated in the tens of millions of dollars. These costs have been estimated from both BAAQMD and EPA publications.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010 when it set the first national limits to reduce mercury and other toxic emissions from cement plants, "...The rules are expected to yield $7 to $19 in public health benefits for every dollar in costs...".

The effects of pollution on our health are much more expensive than the cost of reducing the pollution.

We need your help to protect the air you breathe.  Please sign this petition, and submit a public comment and we’ll deliver it to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. The tide is slowly changing.

      Bay Area for Clean Environment
      Petition Organizer

      A long-running battle to reduce toxic pollution from a cement plant 40 miles south of San Francisco reached a major milestone in 2012, thanks to the hard work of local citizens, some elected officials, and a huge boost of support from over thousands of people who signed our petitions in the past.

      Your efforts are working, and now two government agencies - Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Mid-Peninsula Open Space District - are showing true leadership and have taken action. We ask you to sign this petition to thank both agencies and ask that they continue to be active in protecting the residents of the Bay Area from pollution and other impacts from the Lehigh cement plant and quarry.
      BAAQMD and MROSD: Thanks for Protecting the Residents of the Bay Area from a Polluting Cement Plant

      http://www.change.org/petitions/baaqmd-and-mrosd-thanks-for-protecting-the-residents-of-the-bay-area-from-a-polluting-cement-plant

      BAAQMD and MROSD: Thanks for Protecting the Residents of the Bay Area from a Polluting Cement Plant

      We the undersigned want to express our gratitude to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board and the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) Board for their recent actions to protect our environment: 1. We thank BAAQMD for unanimously approving the first-ever regional air pollution regulations for cement plants, and requiring compliance by September 2013.

    2. Rules Tightened on Cupertino Cement Plant, a Big Source of Bay Area Mercury

      Bay Area for Clean Environment
      Petition Organizer

      The Bay Area Air Quality Management District voted unanimously on Wednesday to tighten regulations on the Lehigh Permanente cement plant ...Neighbors, including city council members, asked the district to immediately draw up even tighter regulations. - Laird Harrison, KQED News
      Read the full article at
      http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2012/09/19/rules-tightened-on-cupertino-cement-plant-a-big-source-of-bay-area-mercury-pollution/

    3. Reached 2,500 signatures
    4. More Regulation Considered For Bay Area's Biggest Mercury Polluter

      Bay Area for Clean Environment
      Petition Organizer

      "...Quick, what's the biggest single source of mercury pollution in the Bay Area? If you guessed something like the Chevron facility that caught fire in Richmond last month, you'd be wrong it turns out that Lehigh Permanente, a Cupertino company that mines lime and uses it to make cement, put about 260 pounds of mercury into the air in 2011. ..." - Laird Harrison, KQED News

      Read the full article at

      http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2012/09/18/more-regulation-considered-for-bay-areas-biggest-mercury-polluter-which-is/

    5. Reached 2,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • fatehah najwa SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      because we share the same air.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • joshua` Heffron NYC, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      saving the Planet!!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • rhoda fry CUPERTINO, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I believe BAAQMD's new air regulations weren't strong enough and now Lehigh is complaining about it. BAAQMD set a benchmark for older cement plants rather than new ones (which would allow less pollution). One would think that a plant over 30 years old would be fully amortized and would require a major overhaul to meet the newest standards - particularly a plant so close to a large population. But no, BAAQMD threw Bay Area residents, who breathe the air a tiny carrot, by doing ever so slightly better than the lowest possible EPA standards. Now it all makes sense why the regulatory agencies are so afraid to adopt decent standards and enforce the regulations - Lehigh Southwest will sue. If only they spent their legal dollars on pollution controls . . . Sadly, our park district is the only one who is willing to stand up for our rights and in turn has filed a complaint on air quality, water quality, and more.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Devan Batavia SARATOGA, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      It is our right to breathe safe air. Simple!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jill Stone LOS ALTOS HILLS, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is important to me because I live way too close to this Lehigh plant. Their toxic emissions must be controlled!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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