Authorities cites cement plant for high mercury emissions

Authorities cites cement plant for high mercury emissions
Published: 27 December 2010

The Brooksville Cemex plant has surpassed the standard mercury emission tests by at least 10 times and Florida State authorities has fined the company $525,000.

A Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) consent order issued Nov. 3 said the unacceptable emissions emanated from one of the kilns on-site and has directed Cemex to bring that structure up to standards or more fines and violations are possible.

The report said kiln No 2 measured 408 micrograms per dry standard cubic meter. The norm is 41. "Since December 21, 2009, the respondent (Cemex) has been and continues to be in violation of the mercury emissions," the FDEP report said. The report did not mention whether the high mercury emissions pose a health threat.

County Commissioner Dave Russell said he was unaware of the state action and hopes no health hazards will result. Russell said if corrective measures need to be taken, he is sure Cemex will do so. The county, he said, does not have the proper equipment to monitor compliance and so it will be up to state regulators to follow up on the state’s order, he said.