LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 (UPI) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it has completed regulations limiting the release of mercury and other toxic air pollutants from cement plants.
These are the first federal restrictions on emissions from existing cement kilns. They are meant to reduce the annual emissions of mercury 92 percent, hydrochloric acid by 97 percent and sulfur dioxide by 78 percent by 2013, the Los Angeles Times.
Environmentalists in California, the nation’s largest producer of cement, applauded the EPA action.
“From the Bay Area to San Bernardino, Californians are going to have cleaner, healthier air thanks to the EPA’s new rule,” said James S. Pew, a staff attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice.
Cement producers criticized the new rules, saying regulations could lead to plant closures and job outsourcing.
“More cement will need to be imported to make up for shrinking domestic supply,” said Brian McCarthy, chief executive and president of the Portland Cement Association in Skokie, Ill. “We fear this could constrain the U.S. government’s efforts to stimulate the economy, create jobs and rehabilitate the nation’s infrastructure.”
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