A spokesperson from Carolinas Cement responded to Tuesday’s announcement from EPA regarding new proposed standards for mercury and other emissions, confirming that Carolinas Cement will comply with new regulations.
“We’ll follow the new regulations to the letter,” said Bob Odom, Carolinas Cement General Manager. “We went on record in February of this year by writing a letter to Mr. Overcash at NC DENR requesting that the proposed facility be responsible for any forthcoming regulation concerning a new [rather than existing] facility, regardless of when the permits are issued.”
Late in the afternoon on April 21, EPA officials released the details of the proposed regulations which specify that new cement kilns can release only 14 pounds of mercury per 1 million tons of clinker. In the case of Carolinas Cement, that equates to approximately 30 lb. per year potential to emit (PTE) for the new Castle Hayne facility. In the air permit application filed in early 2008, Carolinas Cement had listed the PTE at 263 lbs. per year.
The EPA’s announcement follows a recent report made by Intertox, a leading Seattle-based toxicology firm hired to conduct an independent, peer-reviewed study on potential effects of mercury emissions from the Carolinas Cement plant. The toxicology study was launched in September of 2008. The report concluded that the risk of mercury exposure to the population was minimal. “Our study concludes that the total estimated dose of mercury a typical resident of Castle Hayne and the Greater Wilmington community could encounter is less than the concentration of mercury in 1-3/4 teaspoons of canned tuna fish per month, “said Richard C. Pleus, Ph.D. Director of Intertox.