Lehigh Cement's quarry expansion plans opposed

Lehigh Cement's quarry expansion plans opposed
23 June 2021

Lehigh Cement (HeidelbergCement group) wants to amend its 2012 Reclamation Plan for Lehigh Permanente Quarry to increase mining but faces local opposition. As part of the amendment, the proposal asks to disturb an area of the ridge that is about 30m (100ft) in height and 1219m (4000ft) across. In its May 2019 proposal to amend its 2012 Reclamation Plan for Lehigh Permanente Quarry, Lehigh said it wants to mine additional limestone from the area and to cut back the slope for stabilisation along its north highwall section of the quarry. It also sought to modify the easement agreement to accomplish its goals.

The company wants to expand excavation of the north highwall of the North Quarry Pit and expand surface mining in the new 30-acre Rock Plant Reserve Area south of the North Quarry Pit.The project would reactivate use of the quarry’s existing rock crusher and haul unprocessed aggregate to the adjacent Stevens Creek Quarry through an internal haul road. The expanded surface mining activities would increase its total production by approximately 600,000t, according to a December 2020 memo from the county Department of Planning and Development.

The proposal would effectively "chop the top off" the roughly 20-acre easement, which is protected by a nearly 50 year-old agreement. "That easement is a matter of law. It is a protection for that hillside," County Supervisor, Joe Simitian, said. 

To help strengthen their opposition, Santa Clara county supervisors were scheduled to hold a vote on 22 June, on whether to put together an agreement that would grant Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District enforcement powers over the 8ha (20 acre) Ridgeline Protection Easement. Midpeninsula's board of directors also will take up discussion on the alliance with the county during its meeting on 23 June.

Published under Cement News