The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US. Justice Department announced today that Cemex, Inc has agreed to pay a US$1.4m penalty for Clean Air Act violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio. In addition to the penalty, Cemex will spend an estimated US$2m on pollution controls that will reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
"Emissions of harmful pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can lead to a number of serious health and environmental problems, including premature death and heart disease," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Today’s settlement will help keep harmful air pollution out of Ohio communities, protect children with asthma and prevent region-wide public health problems."
"Through this action, the United States and Ohio will secure reductions of harmful emissions by requiring that Cemex adopt state-of-the-art technology and take immediate steps to control pollutants," said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. "As in the case of other Portland cement plants that have agreed to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Cemex plant has been a major source of air pollution, and this settlement will result in a healthier environment for residents of Fairborn, Ohio and the surrounding region."
The settlement addresses modifications Cemex made to its cement plant without obtaining the proper permit, as required by the Clean Air Act. Major sources of air pollution are required to obtain permits which require the installation of pollution control technology before making changes that would significantly increase air emissions. Today’s settlement ensures that the proper pollution control equipment will be installed to reduce future emission levels.
Cemex will install state of the art control technologies that will reduce annual emissions of NOx by approximately 2,300 tons and SO2 by approximately 288 tons.