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Environmentalists falter in challenge of EPA cement plant emissions rule

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

In a ruling on National Resources Defense Council v. EPA, the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia upholds major parts of an agreement the cement industry and Environmental Protection Agency reached on the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), under which producers will invest heavily in  emissions treatment and controls equipment toward a 2016 compliance target.

“PCA is very pleased the D.C. Circuit panel supported EPA’s revised portland cement NESHAP standards and the Agency’s revision of the cement NESHAP compliance date,” notes Portland Cement Association CEO Gregory Scott in statement on the ruling. “The compliance date reset is providing PCA members with the additional time needed to comply with the NESHAP standards. Such time is essential to properly complete the planning, engineering, permitting, testing and construction of the various new technologies that will be necessary to implement the revised standards.

“EPA’s revised cement NESHAP rule struck the right balance in establishing compliance limits that, while still extremely challenging, are realistic and achievable. … The revised standards and compliance period are essential to preserving jobs at domestic cement facilities, providing direct support for an American manufacturing industry that is critical to our nation’s infrastructure. PCA supports meeting the demand for portland cement through environmentally and socially responsible business practices, which have been implemented for decades by our member companies in their local communities.”