An appeal on an emissions permit granted to a South Valley cement manufacturer will be heard next month. The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board will hear an appeal to overturn its December decision to allow Vulcan Materials to operate a cement batch plant across the street from the Mountain View Community Center on Prosperity SE.
On Jan. 18, the Mountain View Neighborhood Association, South Valley Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, Joaquin Altamirano, Julio Dominguez, Patty Grice and Teresa Ortiz-Strogen appealed the Air Quality Control Board’s authorization for the cement plant, claiming it will damage air quality in the area, which already has many industrial businesses.
Air Quality Division officials have defended the permit saying it is protective of public health in that it only allows for limited operations. The three-day hearing will start on May 23 with technical testimony at the community center beginning at 8 a.m. Public comments will be taken 6-8 p.m.
Technical testimony will continue on May 25 at the Convention Center. Grice said Thursday the neighborhood association is better prepared for the appeal than the original hearing. Attorneys with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center have helped prepare the appeal, she said. "It’s going to be a lot different this time," Grice said. She added that she hoped the hearing is well attended. "I hope more than just the Mountain View neighborhood shows up," she said.
According to the permit the plant would be allowed to emit: 24.23t of total suspended particulate per year; 1.46t of very fine particulate (such as dust) per year; and 1.85t of ultra fine particulate (as fine as smoke) per year and minute amounts of metals such as arsenic, barium, beryllium, lead and copper. The hearing is open to the public. Members of the community will be allowed to testify in person or in writing. However, those wishing to offer technical testimony must notify the hearing clerk by May 1.