Plans to reclaim areas of the Lehigh Southwest Cement Permanente Quarry over the next 20 years are now being considered by seven Santa Clara County Planning Commissioners, who will possibly make a decision at a public hearing this Thursday, May 24.
Lehigh is under pressure from the state Office of Mine Reclamation to get an amendment passed to the quarry’s original 1985 reclamation plan. Lehigh could possibly lose its right to sell cement and quarry products to public agencies without swift passage of the amended plan.
The reclamation plan amendment Lehigh submitted focuses on reclaiming 639 areas of mining disturbed area, which includes eventually backfilling the main quarry pit with overburdened material from the West Material Storage Area (WMSA), closest to Los Altos Hills.
The plan also includes capping and planting the East Materials Storage Area (EMSA), which is adjacent to Rancho San Antonio County Park.
In addition, Lehigh would have to begin immediate restoration of Permanente Creek, which currently is listed by the federal government as an impaired waterway for levels of selenium above standards considered safe for wildlife. A lawsuit against Lehigh filed by the Sierra Club under the Clean Water Act is ongoing, while simultaneously being investigated by the regional water quality control board.