EPA Looks Into American Cement Permit

EPA Looks Into American Cement Permit
Published: 10 December 2009

The storage silos at American Cement’s transfer station sit in a North Valley neighborhood.

The Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about the federal enforceability of a permit issued to a cement transfer station in the North Valley, according to documents requested by the Alibi under the Inspection of Public Records Act.

In early October, neighbors of American Cement got word that the city had approved the permit to extend operation to 24 hours a day. The station at 4702 Carlton NW is a few blocks from Mountain Mahogany Community School and La Luz Elementary. Residents fought the permit all summer and spoke at hearings about cement dust in the air, respiratory problems and an added traffic burden caused by American Cement ["Air Conditioning," Aug. 20-26].

On Oct. 20, Catherine Penland of the EPA sent an e-mail to Isreal Tavarez, the environmental engineering manager of the Air Quality Division. She said she’d reviewed the permits at the request of Kyle Silfer, president of the Greater Gardner Neighborhood Association and Alibi systems manager. According to the e-mail exchange, Penland wrote that she had concerns about the permit and that some of the methods used to control or test American Cement’s pollution didn’t appear federally or practically enforceable.