Cemex plants to reduce harmful air pollution following settlement with EPA, DOJ

Cemex plants to reduce harmful air pollution following settlement with EPA, DOJ
Photo of Cemex, Inc. Odessa plant (Source: Cemex Odessa Plant/Twitter)

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with Cemex, Inc. on Wednesday.

The settlement requires the company to invest approximately $10 million to cut emissions of harmful air pollution at five of its cement manufacturing plants including their plant in Odessa, Texas.

Violations included, "Cemex failed to obtain pre-construction permits and install and operate the appropriate nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfer dioxide (SO2) control technology for major modifications at one or more of its cement manufacturing plants that resulted in significant emissions increases."

As a result of the settlement, Cemex will be required to install pollution control technology that will reduce emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxides) and establish strict limits for SO2 (sulfur dioxide) emissions, which will improve air quality in local communities.

NOx and SO2 are two key pollutants emitted from cement plants. They have numerous adverse effects on human health and are significant contributors to acid rain, smog and haze.

"This settlement requires Cemex to use state of the art technology to reduce harmful air pollution, improving public health in vulnerable communities across the South and Southeast," said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "EPA is committed to tackling clean air violations at the largest sources, cutting the pollutants that cause respiratory illnesses like asthma."

The other locations included in the settlement are in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and New Braunfels, Texas.

The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

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