A CalPortland cement plant near the high desert community of Mojave has agreed to pay a fine of US$1.4m and spend US$1.3m on equipment needed to reduce emissions of pollutants that cause asthma and generate smog, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.
The penalties were part of a settlement that capped an investigation by the EPA and the US Department of Justice into the CalPortland Co facility, one of the largest emitters of nitrogen oxide pollution in California.
"This is one of the biggest fines against a cement facility," said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "It comes at a time when the EPA is focusing on cement production as a sector which can make significant improvements in air quality nationwide."
CalPortland Vice President Scott Isaacson said, "We’ve chosen to settle this matter and we are not going to quarrel with EPA. Our focus will be implementation and resolution of the settlement, a process that will unfold over the next few years."