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EPA fines cement company, orders new pollution controls

Published June 19, 2013 3:53 pm

Environment • $30M in pollution controls ordered.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that Kansas-based Ash Grove Cement Co. will invest about $30 million in pollution controls at its nine Portland cement manufacturing plants — including one in Leamington, Utah — due to Clean Air Act violations.

The cement company also will pay a $2.5 million penalty, thanks to a settlement with the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice. It will spend $750,000 to address the effects of past emissions near several of its plants.

"Today's settlement will reduce air pollution that can harm human health and contribute to acid rain, haze, and smog," said EPA's top compliance official, Cynthia Giles. "The new stringent limits on emissions will lead to less pollution and better air quality for communities across the country."

"The agreement with EPA will allow Ash Grove to move forward and provide an environmentally sustainable product that is the foundation of our economy," said Charles T. Sunderland, Ash Grove's chairman and CEO.

The settlement will mean reductions in nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide — 17,000 tons less pollution annually. It imposes tough, new emission limits, as well as modern controls at every kiln to reduce particulate matter.

The settlement, developed with enforcement officials in Utah and the other states, faces a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

jfahys@sltrib.com