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COURT OF APPEALS OKS NATIONAL CEMENT WASTE BURNING

Release Date: 6/2/1995
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

 (San Francisco)--The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit has overturned U.S. EPA's decision to deny a permit
application for National Cement Company of California Inc. to
continue burning hazardous waste in its cement kiln in Kern
County, near Lebec, Calif.  


     U.S. EPA had denied National Cement's permit application
because the landowner, Tejon Ranchcorp, would not sign a
statement required by federal regulations certifying that
everything in the application was accurate and the application
was processed under Tejon Ranch's supervision.  The Court
rejected U.S. EPA's permit denial because it found an alternative
certification signed by Tejon Ranch acknowledging financial
responsibility to be sufficient.


     "We're disappointed at the Court's decision to overturn our
permit denial for National Cement," said Jeff Zelikson, director
of hazardous waste management for U.S. EPA's western region.
"This decision does not mean that National Cement will
automatically get a permit.  The company is still subject to
stringent federal regulations and will have to successfully pass
rigorous emissions testing and a health risk assessment review
before it can obtain a permit.  In addition, there will be
significant opportunities for public involvement before we make
another permit decision."


     National Cement uses a mixture of hazardous waste and fossil
fuels in its cement production process.  It is the only
commercial hazardous waste combustion facility operating in
California.  National Cement will continue burning hazardous
waste under federal interim status regulations and California
permit conditions until a federal permit decision can be made
based upon emission levels and health risk.


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