Environmental Protection

Cemex to Pay $1.4M for Clean Air Act Violations

The company also will install control technologies that will reduce nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions emanating from its Fairborn, Ohio plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Justice Department announced today that Cemex, Inc., one of the largest producers of Portland cement in the United States, has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio.

In addition to the penalty, Cemex will spend an estimated $2 million on pollution controls that will reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), pollutants that can lead to childhood asthma, acid rain, and smog.

“Through this action, the United States and Ohio will secure reductions of harmful emissions by requiring that Cemex adopt state-of-the-art technology and take immediate steps to control pollutants,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “As in the case of other Portland cement plants that have agreed to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Cemex plant has been a major source of air pollution, and this settlement will result in a healthier environment for residents of Fairborn, Ohio and the surrounding region.”

The settlement addresses modifications Cemex made to its cement plant without obtaining the proper permit, as required by the Clean Air Act. Major sources of air pollution are required to obtain permits which require the installation of pollution control technology before making changes that would significantly increase air emissions. Today’s settlement ensures that the proper pollution control equipment will be installed to reduce future emission levels.

Cemex will install control technologies that will reduce annual emissions of NOx by approximately 2,300 tons and SO2 by approximately 288 tons.

Cemex, a global building materials company provides cement and concrete products to construction projects in every sector: industrial, commercial, residential and municipal, with more than 100 aggregate quarries and hundreds of ready-mix concrete plants in the U.S. Cemex is one of the largest producers of cement in the United States, owning and operating 14 Portland cement kiln plants. Its U.S. headquarters is located in Houston.

The $1.4 million penalty will be distributed between the United States, the state of Ohio and the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency serving Ohio’s Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties. The state will contribute 20 percent of its share of the settlement to Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Program Fund.

The proposed consent decree lodged with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, will be subject to a 30-day public comment period.

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