The United Steelworkers (USW) has taken the first step toward filing a civil lawsuit against Arizona Portland Cement (APC) and its parent companies, Taiheiyo Cement USA, Inc. and California Portland Cement. The Union issued a notice of intent to file a citizen suit to enforce alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the cement plant in Rillito, Arizona.
The Union alleges that the Rillito facility has been in violation of state and federal permit requirements since 1998 when the company expanded plant operations and increased production but failed to obtain appropriate permits or install required pollution control equipment. The USW contends that violations have resulted in the release of massive unpermitted, and therefore, illegal amounts of air pollutants into the environment.
The pending lawsuit would seek to require the owners and operators of the Arizona Cement Plant to comply with New Source Review (NSR) requirements including installation of state of the art pollution control equipment to reduce emissions from the plant.
"Our review of government files uncovered evidence that modifications made at the facility in 1998 nearly doubled APC’s production capacity. The increase in related plant emissions should have triggered Clean Air Act requirements to install more protective pollution control equipment," said Terry Bonds, USW District 12 Director.