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Parents plan rally to protest concrete plant near Fremont schools

Parents worried about emissions from a Fremont concrete and landscaping plant plan to rally Saturday afternoon to demand the business move away from homes and schools.

Operations at Tri-City Rock on Osgood Road in Fremont affect children at nearby schools, including Stratford Elementary School next door, rally organizers claim.

“As a parent of two school-aged kids, I am very concerned about hundreds of kids’ exposure to pollution generated by this concrete batching facility right next to the school,” said Andrew Shiu, parent of a Stratford student.

Organizers maintain that cement dust generated by the plant contains unhealthy particles that can cause asthma and other health problems.

Besides Stratford school, more children are affected at nearby Grimmer Elementary and Averroes High schools, said activists from Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and the California Environmental Justice Coalition.

Owners of the plant, however, maintain that they obtained a permit to operate from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in 1987 and have been in compliance with the district’s strict regulations ever since.

“For over 30 years now, Tri City Rock has co-existed alongside Grimmer Elementary School and other neighboring businesses and residents without complaint,” according to a statement Saturday from Tri City Rock. The company maintains that Stratford School was built two years ago alongside the company’s property line -using 3,700 cubic yards of concrete supplied by Tri City Rock.

After the school opened in 2018, Tri City Rock has been “under siege” from school parents, seeking to shut down the company, according to Tri City Rock.

Due to the complaints, Tri City Rock has been subject to numerous unannounced inspections from local and state authorities, the company said. None of the inspections have found any violations with the company’s operations, according to Tri City Rock.

Recent on-site air quality tests performed by the air district confirm that Tri City Rock is compliance with the regulations and well within health protective standards, posing no health risk to the neighboring students, including those who may already have asthma, according to the company’s statement.

Activists, however, maintain that the air quality district has failed to take action to protect the kids from the dangerous emissions. Representatives of the air district were not available for comment on Saturday.

Saturday’s community rally is set for noon in front of Tri City Rock, 43157 Osgood Road in Fremont.

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