QMD meeting to focus on proposed dust rules, US South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday to update the public on recent efforts to reduce emissions of hexav

QMD meeting to focus on proposed dust rules, US  South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday to update the public on recent efforts to reduce emissions of hexav
Published: 01 December 2008

South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday to update the public on recent efforts to reduce emissions of hexavalent chromium from TXI Riverside Cement Co.

Air quality officials have spent the past four months working with cement industry leaders to refine proposed amendments to Rule 1156. Rule 1156 was created in 2005 and requires cement facilities to cut emissions of dangerous small particles by half by 2010.

The proposed amendments would strengthen the rule and require that cement facilities take several steps to reduce emissions of the airborne chemical hexavalent chromium, said Sam Atwood, spokesman for AQMD.

Elevated levels of hexavalent chromium were detected in Rubidoux during a five-month AQMD investigation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "Workers who breathe hexavalent chromium compounds at their jobs for many years may be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. Breathing high levels of hexavalent chromium can irritate or damage the nose, throat, and lungs."

In April, AQMD identified TXI Riverside Cement Co. in Rubidoux as the source of the high concentrations of the pollutant. The elevated levels were a result of piles of clinker material that were stored in the open at the site.

In July, officials held a town hall meeting regarding a proposal to amend Rule 1156. As part of the rule amendment, officials were considering requiring total enclosure of the clinker material stored at cement factories.