As promised years ago, four outdated kilns at Essroc Cement Corp.’s Plant III on West Prospect Street stopped spinning last month.
The shutdown means less dust is settling on its neighbors and almost 60 people have stopped going to work at the former Lone Star plant.
Rather than equipping Plant III with modern environmental protection devices, Essroc agreed to stop using the kilns to make clinker on Dec. 31. Recent upgrades at Plant I, the eastern-most of the three plants along Route 248, will make up for most of the lost capacity.
John Samus, a member of Essroc’s Citizens Advisory Committee, said he expects Nazareth residents will notice substantial improvements as time passes. The 1.7-mile conveyor belt the company started
using last year already has sharply reduced truck traffic on Route 248, he said.
Job restructuring as a result of the shutdown is slated for completion by Jan. 31, Essroc spokesman Marco Barbesta said. The company planned to discharge nearly 20 percent of its 270 employees, but fewer layoffs were necessary because some workers are being transferred to other plants.