Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Environmentally impaired? Hanson Cement Plant update

My husband, two neighbor friends and I attended a "Hanson Quarry Outreach Meeting" at our Cupertino Community Center tonight. It's in regards to their "Reclamation Plan amendment proposal" to increase their mining area from 330 acres to 917 acres and extend the term by 25 years. 

This cement plant / quarry has been in the area - since 1939 (I'll check that fact). It is at the end of Steven's Creek Rd, and just across from the park where SLaB holds it's mountain bike workshops and where we ride our bikes at both Freemont Older and Black Mountain / Montebello Open Space.
I'm a Cupertino resident, and I've been tested and diagnosed with toxic levels of Mercury and Lead. I have undergone an extensive Chelation process, halved the levels, but am still at a toxic level of Mercury. Hanson Quarry was at one time, the 2nd largest producer of Airborne Mercury in the State! The constant dust and noise are noticeable - and when I found out my neighbors were trying to chelate Mercury out of their systems, it was time to get informed, and see if we can clean up the air. See previous blog Entry(s).

I did not attend to say "Shut down the plant" - much to the disappointment to the angry residents that were attending. I moved here well after the plant did - and am interested in it not only not expanding, but in cleaning up it's airborne emissions. I would like to tell the folks that want it shut down, who was here first, and where is your cement footprint level? Try not wanting, using, having cement in our society. I don't like it any more than them, but the "not in my backyard" is not a good enough argument if they were there first.

So let's take a different approach. One that might be more easily listened to. Not fall on deaf ears. One maybe less emotional, but rational, and with some data.

Get seriously dedicated and active, let's organize to test ourselves, our own air, own dust, own bodies. Collect the data and present facts. Speaking out that you have Cancer, are sick, or have a child with Autism is a start - but not something one can give a solution or answer to. Let's prove that there are clusters of issues. Let's show them the content of the dust. 

The West Valley Citizens Air Watch is a fantastic start.  They were apparently successful in getting the plant to stop burning tires for power. They could use a website and forum to get more involved. They do seem emotionally charged, but well researched, and could be the spokesperson to speak for our community. 

(After being at this meeting, I think we need a steady - scientific oriented - non-emotionally charged person for this job). I think we need to take it a step further, and find out how to get a massive study done ourselves. The County is clearly not going to do it! (added on Fri. Oct 24).

Below is a screen grab of the website for the planning office. Click to link to directly.

My husband Terry, spoke with the Bay Area Quality Management Department Representative that attended. We got great advice onto what we need to carefully do to test and he will send us advice on the protocol to get test result that will be accepted for "evidence" - if you will. We will also pursue what the actual Hanson Quarry Emissions are - hopefully from a test not provided by Hanson itself.

I'll post more information as I get it - let's not let this go another year without getting some facts collected!

Special note added FRIDAY Oct 24:
The last 24 hours I've had a min of 200 hits on this blog - please comment or send me an email if you want to connect and help organize a mass testing of our dust, and our heavy metals blood levels! Email Bevco (at) mac dot com.

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