Portland Cement Association officials cite dire consequences tied to Environmental Protection Agency-proposed national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP): chiefly, closure of 30 or more cement plants subject to compliance-related investments, amounting to abatement equipment outlay of $60 million/plant average, and $4.7 billion industry wide. Cement companies' initial and operational expenses related to NESHAP could add an extra $21/ton of cement by decade's end.
In a recent Cement Americas webinar, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan noted that the EPA rule and associated costs could lead to a loss of 27 million tons of annual U.S. clinker production capacity and potentially propel imports to 36 percent of powder consumption by 2020. Escalating regulatory burdens, he added, could jeopardize the cement industry's current $7 billion ramp up of domestic capacity, as multinational producers weigh U.S. plant investment versus overseas options.
Joining Sullivan in the Portland Cement NESHAP: Potential Effect on the Cement Industry presentation was PCA Vice President-Regulatory Affairs Andy O'Hare, who assessed pollutant and plant upgrade specifics. Posted at www.cementamericas.com, the webinar precedes the White House Office of Management and Budget's release of its Portland Cement NESHAP cost estimates. EPA has indicated an August 2010 rulemaking target.