PCA testifies EPA rules increase off-shore pollutants

PCA testifies EPA rules increase off-shore pollutants
Published: 18 April 2011

Testifying today before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Aris Papadopoulos, CEO of Titan America and chair of the Portland Cement Association (PCA), appealed to Congress to take immediate action to replace onerous regulations with policies that promote job growth, investment certainty and responsible environmental stewardship.

Led by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, the hearings sought to assess the impact of recent EPA rulemakings on boilers, cement manufacturing plants and utilities.  In addition to Papadopoulos, the Subcommittee heard testimony from officers from electric utility companies, the wood industry, universities and environmental organisations.

Papadopoulos outlined for Congress how the new regulations create neither economic nor environmental gains.  “The net result is industry will be forced to shut down plants.  When market demand for cement returns, it will be met by cement imported from other countries, causing a loss of more U.S. industry jobs and a net increase in pollutants from cement production in countries that have little to no regulation,” he testified.

“We want to produce the materials here in the U.S. in order to reinstate win-win policies that benefit the environment, the economy and the U.S. labor force.”

The cement industry has continually demonstrated its commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.  It has invested tens of billions of dollars in modernising and expanding facilities with state-of-the-art technologies that significantly reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

The cement industry recycles 12Mta of industrial and urban byproducts, like tires, fly ash and wood chips, that would otherwise be land-filled. 

In addition, recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) confirms that cement and concrete can play leading rules in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental challenges.

“Congress can create a climate that encourages domestic production of cement—consistent with the findings of the M.I.T. research—by taking immediate action to address onerous regulations and place a near-term moratorium on more rules,” Papadopoulos said.

“Legislation that mitigates the impacts of harmful regulations while promoting job growth, investment certainty and responsible environmental stewardship will revive private sector confidence, create good jobs for Americans and restore economic prosperity.”

Left unchanged, regulations will cause the cement industry to follow the same path as the oil industry, according to Papadopoulos. “American jobs and investment will be lost while greater amounts of pollutants are emitted offshore. Dependence on foreign cement follows the road of dependence on foreign energy. This could hurt the entire construction economy, with impacts on infrastructure, housing, commerce and jobs.”