Dragon concerns

Dragon concerns
Published: 06 September 2004

Neighbours for a Safe Dragon, the group of US Mid-coast residents concerned about air emissions and pollution control at Dragon Products cement works in Thomason, New England, has postponed an informational meeting to Sept. 28. The Neighbours had originally scheduled their meeting for Sept. 9., but said Monday they needed more time to organise their presentation.

A July 13 episode that resulted in a large fugitive dust cloud rising from a preheater tower was resolved quickly, the company told the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Just last week, Dragon also announced the completion of its $50 million modernization project, which incorporated the first major expansion of New England’s only cement plant since 1971, the company said.

 The upgrade takes the plant to a higher level of environmental efficiency, and increases fuel economy and production capabilities, said Koch. The improvement boosts production from 500,000 tons of cement to more than 700,000 tons, using the same amount of fuel. Dragon’s environmental manager Ann Thayer said that while production will increase, air emissions will not. The company said it made substantial upgrades to dust collection equipment and incorporated low nitrogen oxide technologies to minimize emissions.

In the announcement, Dragon referenced some isolated temporary dust issues that resulted from construction and the process of going online with the new system, but said the dust was not hazardous.