Cemex to reduce harmful air pollution, pay $1.69 million
The company will invest approximately $10 million to cut emissions of harmful air pollution at five of its cement manufacturing plants in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.
Under the consent decree lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Cemex will also pay a $1.69 million civil penalty, conduct energy audits at the five plants, and spend $150,000 on energy efficiency projects to mitigate the effects of past excess emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx)from its facilities.
The five Cemex facilities produce Portland cement, a key ingredient in concrete, mortar, and stucco are located in Demopolis, Alabama, Louisville, Kentucky, Knoxville, Tennessee, and New Braunfels and Odessa, Texas.
The Knox County, Tennessee, and Louisville air pollution control authorities participated in this settlement.
Cemex is required to install pollution control technology that will reduce emissions of NOx and establish strict limits for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, which will improve air quality in local communities.
Cemex will install and continuously operate a selective non-catalytic reduction system for controlling NOx at the five plants and meet emission limits that are consistent with the current best available control technology for NOx.
EPA estimates this will result in NOx emissions reductions of over 4,000 tons per year. Each facility will also be subject to strict SO2 emission limits.
NOx and SO2, two key pollutants emitted from cement plants, have numerous adverse effects on human health and are significant contributors to acid rain, smog and haze. ■