Cement industry says new EPA regulations would cost jobs

Cement industry says new EPA regulations would cost jobs
Published: 18 February 2010

The U.S. cement industry kicked off a campaign against tighter environmental regulations, releasing a study on the economic impact of regulations and dropping hints about filing a lawsuit.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a set of rules that would force cement plants to cut their emissions of mercury, soot, hydrochloric acid and hydrocarbons such as benzene. Environmental groups in Texas support the rules because they would reduce emissions at the complex of cement plants in Midlothian, which is the biggest source of industrial pollution in North Texas.

The Portland Cement Association’s report, written by a Southern Methodist University researcher, said the rules could lead to job losses at American plants and the importation of cement from countries with less-stringent regulations. Portland cement is made by cooking limestone in giant kilns, and it’s one of the key ingredients in concrete, mortar and other building materials.

"The U.S. economy is literally built on concrete," wrote Bernard Weinstein, an economist at SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute.