Threat or opportunity?
As the US Environmental Protection Agency gears up to introduce new environmental protection legislation, the local cement industry assesses the potential impact and vocalises its concern over plant closures and high compliance costs as well as job losses and environmental benefits. But can these threats also be seized on as an opportunity to modernise the sector and transform it into a more competitive player? ICR debates the issues.
The past few years have seen an increasing raft of environmental protection laws become effective in the US, placing operational limits on the local cement industry. Key items of legislation include:
• National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
• Greenhouse gas reporting
• New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)
• Clean Air Act’s “Tailoring Rule“
• National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).
In addition, the industry is facing further restraints as two more proposals are under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): the new standards for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators (CISWI) with a compliance deadline of 2015 and the fly ash determination as hazardous waste proposal – to become effective in 2015.