The Lehigh quarry and cement plant is the largest stationary source of air pollution in Cupertino, and one of the most significant in the Bay Area. BAAQMD placed new regulation on the plant in 2013, which has reduced mercury emissions by 82%, NOx by 22%, and HCl by 75%, despite a 50% increase in production.
Rod has pushed for the expedient development of rules to further improve air quality while balancing economic impact. BAAQMD is now working on new regulations to reduce health impacts from all stationary sources in the Bay Area, including Lehigh. The current mortality rate threshold requiring mitigation, at 100 persons per million, is proposed to be reduced to 10 persons per million, a 10X reduction. Further, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's (OEHHA's) latest guidelines on respiratory impact will bring another 3X reduction. Rod has received praise from other members of the BAAQMD board for his thoughtful study and insights. He was picked to be the Board's sole ex-officio representative to the Advisory Council, a group of the world's leading scientific experts offering recommendations to the Board.