City Council members will try to succeed Tuesday where state regulators and
legislators have not, by voting on a measure aimed at curbing air pollution
from cement kilns in Midlothian. The measure would require Fort Worth and
its road contractors to buy cement only from lower-polluting kilns. Dallas
adopted a similar policy in May.
The language would essentially single out a "wet kiln" owned by Ash Grove
Cement. However, Ash Grove officials say it’s unfair to single out one type
of kiln. They want the council to adopt a resolution that would address
pollution from all cement kilns. The company has already voluntarily reduced
its emissions. "Our counterproposal is actually stronger than the existing
proposal," company spokesman Lance Latham said.
Ash Grove’s proposal calls for cities to buy only from dry kilns that cut
their emissions by 10 per cent and wet kilns that cut emissions by 20
Per cent. But the wet kilns emit about twice as much pollution as dry kilns,
so the counterproposal would still allow Ash Grove to produce substantially
more pollution than dry kilns would be allowed to produce. None of the other
kiln operators in Midlothian have commented on the city’s proposal.
It’s not clear how much effect Fort Worth and Dallas will have on the cement
plants if they buy only from dry kilns, but Fort Worth alone is planning to
spend US$150m on new streets in the next few years.