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Nation's Second-Largest Portland Cement Manufacturer to Add New Pollution Controls at Iowa, Kansas and Missouri Plants

Release Date: 01/21/2010
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 21, 2010) - As part of the federal government's first-ever nationwide legal settlement with a Portland cement manufacturer over Clean Air Act issues, all of the company's operating facilities, including those in Buffalo, Iowa (also known as the Davenport plant); Fredonia, Kan.; and Sugar Creek, Mo., will be required to install and implement an estimated total of $170 million in new air pollution control equipment.

In a consent decree filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Lafarge North America, Inc., based in Herndon, Va., and two of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay a $5 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s new source review regulations. Of the $5 million civil penalty, the nation's second-largest Portland cement maker will pay $3.4 million to the United States and $1.7 million to the 13 states and agencies that have joined in the settlement.

In EPA Region 7, Iowa will receive a $135,000 share of the settlement, while Kansas and Missouri are each to receive $55,250.

“Consistent with Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s seven priorities, this settlement calls for tough new controls and innovative technologies to cut down on harmful air emissions that threaten the health of millions of Americans,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Nationwide, Lafarge's installation of the pollution control equipment is expected to reduce its plants' emissions of nitrous oxide by more than 9,000 tons per year, and reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 26,000 tons per year. At Lafarge's three facilities in Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, the resulting annual emissions reductions are expected to total 1,127 tons of nitrous oxide and 1,388 tons of sulfur dioxide. Lafarge is expected to spend a total of $19 million on the new control technologies at its Iowa, Kansas and Missouri facilities.

In a complaint filed concurrently with today’s settlement, the United States alleged that Lafarge and its subsidiaries, or their predecessors, modified one or more of each of their facilities without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment as required by the Clean Air Act. These violations were discovered as a result of EPA investigations and reviews of company submitted data. The states and agencies joining in the settlement have made similar allegations in their complaint, which is filed separately.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the court.

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Learn more about EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's seven priorities for the agency's future

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