California County: Cement Plant to Never Reopen

The Santa Clara County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors signed a legally binding agreement with Hanson Permanente Cement and Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. to ensure the cement kiln at the Permanente complex near Cupertino will never restart, reported local media.

In November, Lehigh said it would shutter the controversial plant after not operating its cement kiln since April 2020. In the past decade, the plant has reportedly received more than 2,100 environmental violations, with more than 100 considered serious.

District 5 County Supervisor Joe Simitian, whose district includes the plant, said the agreement “guarantees that any and all future owners understand the cement plant is irrevocably closed.”

The deal also included the county granting Lehigh an 18-month window to work with county staff on revisions to its use permit for the site.

“We are pleased to formalize our agreement not to restart the kiln at our Permanente cement plant,” Jeff Sieg, a spokesperson for Lehigh Hanson, said in an emailed statement to the San Jose Spotlight. “We remain focused on working collaboratively with the community and other stakeholders on the development of a long-term strategy for the property so that it can continue to provide value in the future.”

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