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CalPortland Company to Pay $350,000 to Settle Clean Air Act Violations

Release Date: 10/20/2010
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO–The US Department of Justice, on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency, lodged a consent decree resolving Clean Air Act claims against CalPortland Company with respect to the company’s Rillito, Arizona, portland cement plant.

The settlement will resolve claims that CalPortland did not obtain permits required by the Clean Air Act. As a result, CalPortland will either upgrade equipment, such as baghouses and spraybars to reduce particle pollution, or install a new, state-of-the-art kiln and retire four existing kilns.  In addition, the cement manufacturer must pay a $350,000 civil penalty.

“This settlement will result in cleaner air for communities affected by the CalPortland facility,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the EPA’s Air Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “To safeguard the public health, all cement plants need to be properly permitted and keep their air emissions within the limits set by federal law.”

Cement kiln operations emit particulate matter, which can cause major health problems. Concerns for human health from exposure to coarse particle pollution include: effects on breathing and respiratory systems, damage to lung tissue, cancer, and premature death. The elderly, children, and people with chronic lung disease, influenza, or asthma, are especially sensitive to the effects of particulate matter. 

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period. To view the consent decree or to submit comments, please visit: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/4759.htm

For more information on the settlement and the Clean Air Act, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/index.html