Laramie cement plant facing lawsuit

Laramie cement plant facing lawsuit
Published: 26 October 2004

Environmentalists have given notice they intend to sue a cement factory for 6000 violations of air quality regulations over the last two years. Emissions from the Mountain Cement Co. plant on Laramie’s south side pose a danger to area residents’ health, the potential plaintiffs say. The federal Clean Air Act requires 60 days notice be given in such cases, said Jeremy Nichols of Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. ’’Hopefully, we might be able to work something out within this next 60 days,’’ he said.

Bruce Ballinger, president of Mountain Cement, said the company had received the notice and was reviewing it. ’’We strive to be as environmentally responsible as at all possible, and we will continue to do so,’’ he said.

Mountain Cement, owned by Dallas, Texas-based Eagle Materials Inc., operates a coal-fired plant with two smokestacks just west of U.S. 287. The environmental groups said violations at one of the stacks were ’’essentially stopped’’ by installation of equipment required by a Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality order, but violations continued at the other stack.

The conservation alliance said records on file with DEQ showed that on a previous occasion, in 1994, the company was fined $50,000 and ordered to spend $40,000 on pollution control. The group said records indicated the plant had violated its air quality permit more than 6000 times in the last two years.