Lehigh Southwest Cement discharges worry neighbors

Byswb

Updated Mon, 27 Dec 2010 00:00:00 GMT

Neighbors of a historic South Bay cement plant are urging authorities to block plans for extending the facility's life for 20 years, arguing the operation spews potentially harmful amounts of mercury into the air.

Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors is reviewing a long-term permit for the Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. plant in Cupertino, which hopes to excavate a second limestone pit when its existing quarry is tapped out within the next decade.

But hundreds of residents who live near the 3,500-acre site - regularly listed as one of the top emitters of noxious gases in the Bay Area by air regulators - say the industrial business no longer belongs in an area now packed with homes, schools and parks.