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EPA cites Lehigh Cement for clean-air violations

Release Date: 12/06/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 05-OPA256

EPA cites Lehigh Cement for clean-air violations

CHICAGO (Dec. 6, 2005) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Lehigh Cement Co. for alleged clean-air violations at the company's portland cement plant at 121 N. First St., Mitchell, Ind.

EPA alleges that Lehigh failed to maintain cement kiln exhaust gas temperatures at levels that ensure compliance with dioxin and furan emission limits, failed to submit complete emissions reports and failed to comply with limits on opacity or the amount of light obscured by dust emissions.

"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Regional Administrator Thomas V. Skinner. "We will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."

These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. Lehigh has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

There is evidence that dioxins may cause liver damage and probably cause cancer in humans, while furans may also cause cancer.

Inhaling high concentrations of dust can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most.

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