The Department of Justice and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Essroc Cement Company has agreed to pay a US$1.7m penalty and invest approximately US$33m in pollution control technology to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at six of its Portland cement manufacturing plants. The settlement will protect Americans’ health by reducing more than 7000t of NOx and SO2 pollution each year. Essroc has also agreed to spend US$745,000 to mitigate the effects of past excess emissions from its facilities.
“These comprehensive measures at multiple Essroc facilities will achieve substantial reductions in harmful air pollution and result in cleaner, healthier air for many people across the country,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
“This will bring Essroc into compliance with the nation’s Clean Air Act and marks significant progress in addressing the nation’s largest sources of air pollution and protecting the most vulnerable among us, especially children and the elderly, from respiratory and other health problems.”
Under the settlement, Essroc will install state of the art pollution control technology to control SO2 and NOx at five of its plants and demonstrate a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) system at two long wet kilns in its Logansport, Ind., plant. If successful, these will be the first SCRs used on long wet kilns anywhere in the world, the statement said. Essroc will also permanently retire its sixth plant, located in Bessemer, Pa. This plant is currently out of operation and its permanent retirement will ensure that the facility does not restart without proper permitting under the CAA.
The settlement also requires Essroc to spend US$745,000 on a mitigation project to replace old engines in several off-road vehicles at its plant sites. The replacement engines are estimated to achieve approximately a 50-80% reduction in NOx in each engine.