EPA could side with industry, delay cement kiln regulations
Thursday, July 19, 2012
EPA Delays Cement Kiln Regulations
It appears that the Environmental Protection Agency could give into intense pressure from the Portland Cement Association – whose Chairman is Titan America’s Chief Executive Officer, Aris Papadopoulos -- and substantially weaken and delay implementation of the cement kiln regulations, which were expected to become effective in 2013. The 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act first required that maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for Portland cement kilns be finalized in 1997. Thirteen years later, in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally promulgated standards, which those of us who live near existing or potential cement facilities strongly support.
These critical standards were scheduled to take effect in September 2013, but it appears that EPA could weaken the provisions relating to particulate matter – tiny particles of arsenic, lead and chromium, among other toxic substance -- and delay implementation of the regulations from 2013 to 2015. Titan has recently been granted a permit to emit 350 tons of particulate matter every year! Click here for info on health affect associated with these emissions. We say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Let EPA do their job and protect human health.
In addition, the EPA is expected to announce that a variety of materials such as tires, wood treated with creosote, plastic and chemical solvents do not meet the agency's definition of waste. The practical impact of this decision will be that cement plants and many other facilities—including chemical plants, paper mills and oil refineries—will be able to burn those materials without having to meet the significantly more stringent requirements under the Clean Air Act that were designed to limit the additional amount of dangerous pollution that results from the burning of such materials in place of traditional fuel. Those facilities will not even have to disclose which of those items they are burning.
Eight leading supporters of the cement kiln regulations from across the nation, including Allie Sheffield of PenderWatch & Conservancy, a member of the Stop Titan coalition, met with officials at EPA and the Office of Management and Budget in Washington DC on May 17, urging them to enact the cement kiln regulations without delay.
"For all Titan’s claims that it will build the cleanest possible cement plant, it has instead continuously done everything possible to weaken or defeat the regulations for cement plants,” said Allie Sheffield. “This is just the latest and most extreme example of that. EPA’s anticipated bowing to pressure from Titan and the other Portland Cement Association members is a huge tragedy for the thousands of area residents who will have to breathe the air Titan’s plant will pollute if it is ultimately allowed to build a cement kiln in Castle Hayne."