• Petitioned Stephen M. Testa

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Officer, State Mining & Geology Board
Stephen M. Testa
Office of Mine Reclamation
State Mining & Geology Board
Assistant Director, Office of Mine Reclamation
James S. Pompy
Cupertino City Council Member
Barry Chang
Supervisor, Santa Clara County for District 1
Mike Wasserman
Supervisor, Santa Clara County for District 2
George Shirakawa
Supervisor, Santa Clara County for District 3
Dave Cortese
Supervisor, Santa Clara County for District 4
Ken Yeager
Supervisor, Santa Clara County for District 5
Liz Kniss
District Director for Rep. Mike Honda
Meri Maben
California Governor
State Rep. Rich Gordon
State Sen. Jerry Hill
State Sen. Mark Leno
State Rep. Kevin Mullin
State Rep. Adam Gray
Rep. Jackie Speier

Hold a Polluting Cement Plant Accountable to the Law

    1. Barry Chang
    2. Petition by

      Barry Chang

September 2011


A long-running battle to bring a polluting cement plant into compliance with the law reached a major milestone, thanks to the hard work of local citizens and a huge boost of support from over 28,000 people who signed their Change.org petition.
For years, Lehigh has received government cement contracts while in violation of California's mining laws. The Santa Clara County has been consistently lax in pressing Lehigh to correct the violations in a timely manner.  However, as a result of this campaign, the state has taken a rare action to hold Lehigh accountable. "I've received more than 23,000 copies of the same petition letter from quarry opponents, so I know they're passionate folks," Jim Pompy, assistant director of California's Office of Mine Reclamation, told Change.org that finally galvanized the state into action." said Barry Chang, a board member of the group Bay Area for Clean Environment (BACE), in thanking petition signers for their support.

Lehigh is now doing everything in its power to avoid this notice, including filing a recent lawsuit against California to stop their enforcement of the law. In addition, on August 24, 2011 - Citing significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act, told supporters. "We found out about something that was really wrong, we spoke up about it, and got results."

BACE will continue to pressure the State to vigorously defend the public’s interest and hold Lehigh accountable. You can follow

During a public hearing on February 10, 2011, the Office of Mine Reclamation(OMR) stated that Lehigh Southwest Permanente Cement and Quarry (Lehigh) in Santa Clara County has been operating outside of its approved Reclamation Plan since 2002 and is not qualified to be on the AB 3098 List. Quarries on the list are in good standing with the state mining laws. Quarries not on the list cannot sell cement or aggregate to government funded projects. Lehigh should have been taken off the list in 2002. However, to this day, Lehigh remains on the AB 3098 list, unfairly taking contracts away from those quarries in compliance.  It was estimated that Lehigh sold 85% of its cement to Government agencies.  If OMR removes Lehigh from the AB 3098 list immediately, OMR will get Lehigh’s attention right away and hopefully bring Lehigh into compliance of California Mining Laws quickly.

Air and water violations: The EPA says Lehigh has been operating without a valid Title V Permit (Federal Clean Air permit) since 1996. According to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board,  its “...civil liability (ACL) against the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company (Lehigh)… 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…”.

We need to protect the health and safety of our community and continue to attract the most highly educated and talented high-tech workforce to Silicon Valley. Therefore, effective deterrents like removal from the AB-3098 list need to be enforced by government agencies when Lehigh Permanente Quarry and Cement adjacent to Silicon Valley is in violation of the law.  

Please sign the petition to ask the Office of Mine Reclamation and the State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) to remove Lehigh from the AB 3098 list immediately.  Please ask your friends and neighbors to sign as well.   Many of you told me that we are making Lehigh and Santa Clara County panic and sweat now.  Please keep up your good work.  Thank you very much for your help.

Recent signatures


    1. The Sierra Club issues notice of intent to Sue Lehigh

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      August 24, 2011 - Citing significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act, the Sierra Club issued a notice of intent to sue Lehigh Southwest Cement in Cupertino and its parent company HeidelbergCement Group.

    2. Quarry Road is Private, Supervisors Declare, But Courts May Decide Issue

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Lehigh/Heidelberg Cement Company’s application for summary abandonment of the County’s rights to Permanente Road. A past quarry owner had illegally blocked the road in 1935.

    3. Lehigh sues to block removal from AB3098 List.

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      August 19, 2011 - Bay Area Clean Environment (BACE) is dismayed that Lehigh has chosen to file yet another lawsuit rather than address the problems that led the state to threaten the Cupertino quarry’s removal from the AB 3098 list.

    4. The LA Times covers the major progress in this campaign

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      The power of organizing! With your help, the Bay Area residents in California stood up to the powerful cement company that has been polluting the community for years. Read it in the Los Angeles Times:

    5. The Los Altos Patch covers the big news

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Details release of 30-day notice letter.

    6. Huge news

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      The California Office of Mine Reclamation has sent a letter to Lehigh giving them 30 days to comply with the law, or be kicked off the AB—3098 list! We'll have some links and more news soon.

    7. Over 25,000 signatures in support of this petition!

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      It's clear — the public wants the state government to hold Lehigh accountable to the law. Thanks to all of you who have signed our petition.

    8. Reached 25,000 signatures
    9. Impacts our entire Bay Area environment — its air, land, and water.

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      We have changed our name from No Toxic Air to Bay Area for Clean Environment (BACE). These problems we are working on impact our entire Bay Area environment — its air, land, and water. Lehigh has a long record of land, air, and water violations.

    10. City allots money to water quality study from Lehigh pollution

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      As part of its latest budget—which is a tight one, Cupertino devotes $20,000 for a Permanente Creek water quality study, to determine possible effects of runoff from the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant and Quarry.

    11. Reached 20,000 signatures
    12. Almost 20,000 Signers, and so many powerful comments

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Here is one: My family lives only blocks away from Lehigh. I fear for the health and well being of my daughters and all of the residents in Cupertino who are subject to the contaminants from this all too powerful company." -- Patricia R.

    13. Reached 17,500 signatures
    14. Word is that the state could make a decision on this soon!

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Please keep signing every voice helps.

    15. Reached 7,000 signatures
    16. Residents Rally At Lehigh Entrance

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      Last Saturday morning, a group residents marched up Permanente Road to rally against pollution and continued violations from the Lehigh plant. Participants ranging from high school students to seniors demonstrated peacefully.

    17. Reached 1,500 signatures
    18. Join us for a March to the Gates of Lehigh in Protest, Jun. 18th, Saturday

      Barry Chang
      Petition Organizer

      We want to thank all of you for signing the petition. This Saturday Jun. 18th, please join us for a march to the gates of Lehigh protest of the company’s refusal to allow access to a public road behind the quarry’s locked gates.

    19. Reached 1 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • olmstead stanley VERNAL, UT
      • over 2 years ago

      Companies like cement companies that have a high potential to contaminate air and water need strict over-site by governmental agencies whether state or federal to assure they are in compliance to the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. As a citizen watching the continued reduction of our air and water quality I expect government of perform its responsibility to assure that cooperate America does not injure our environment and cause negative impacts to our communities and health.

    • Lily Middleman PATCHOGUE, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      Protecting the environment is such an important issue. To me, it's the most important issue that there is. That's why I'm trying to save the whales in Japan. Please sign my petition!

    • Echo Mitchell MINNEAPOLIS, MN
      • over 2 years ago

      The cement plant should be held financially responsible for cleaning up past and present pollution and desist from adding more.

    • Franklin Lee SAN JOSE, CA
      • about 3 years ago

      Are we to continue the polluting practices that have occurred since the Industrial Age? Can we afford to continue to sacrifice the health of our elderly, our young, and ourselves? Absolutely not! This Polluting Cement Plant needs to be held accountable to the law, and maybe one day we can look upon this earth and feel proud of our impact.

    • Bart Watson JUNEAU, AK
      • about 3 years ago

      It's high time we the citizens start treating all publicly trading corporations with skepticism. Their one and only mandate is maximizing short-term profits, and a social conscience (like avoiding toxic pollution) is just not part of the equation. An active citizenry demanding effective regulations is the only way we can take back control of our country from corporate special interests and the politicians they have bought and paid for.


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