On December 29, 2011, the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOJ announced that Essroc Cement Company has agreed to pay a $1.7 million penalty and invest approximately $33 million in pollution control technology to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
In January 2009, EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Essroc alleging that Essroc modified its Bessemer plant without first complying with CAA pre-construction obligations that include obtaining pre-construction permits and installing and operating state-of-the-art pollution control technology.
Essroc agreed to permanently retire two kilns at the Bessemer plant and the following projects estimated to cost the company $33 million will be undertaken:
- Installation and continuous operation of new Dry Scrubber/Lime Injection systems at seven kilns
- Installation and continuous operation of selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) at five kilns
- Demonstration of selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) at the two long wet kilns
U.S. EPA estimates the projects will reduce nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions by 5,000 tons and reduce sulfur dioxides (SO2) by 5,600 tons.
The projects will occur at Essroc’s six cement plants in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia.
In addition, Essroc will spend $745,000 to replace old engines in several off-road vehicles at its plant sites as a mitigation project. The replacement engines are estimated to achieve approximately 50-80 percent reduction in NOx on each engine.
This action was a result of the U.S. EPA Cement Manufacturing Enforcement Initiative. Beginning in 2008, U.S. EPA has pursued a integrated compliance and enforcement strategy to address Clean Air Act New Source Review compliance issues at the nation’s cement manufacturing facilities. U.S EPA has reached settlements with five other companies.
This article was excerpted from publically available information, and was authored by Joyce Gentry, Acacia Environmental Group LLC. For more information on the author see here.