Settlement Reached in Cement Plant Mercury Case
January 16, 2009
Mercury is a known neurotoxin which poses an especially high threat to the health of women and children. Mercury can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune systems. It can also lead to reduced reproduction, slower growth and development and abnormal behavior. Because of these risks it is extremely important to regulate mercury emissions, and with a new settlement, we are one step closer to this goal. On January 16, 2009, Sierra Club, the State of New York, as leader of a nine state coalition and several environmental groups, reached a settlement with US EPA over regulating mercury emissions from Portland cement plants nationwide. This settlement applies to 106 plants, which generate an estimated 23,000 pounds of airborne mercury each year. Portland cement is the most common type of cement and a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and grout.
Sierra Club sued EPA in February 2007 for adopting air emission standards for these cement plants that did not adequately control mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The suit claimed that EPA violated the Clean Air Act by not basing emission standards for these plants on state-of-the-art pollution control technologies. This settlement is a huge victory in that EPA must propose new standards by March 31, 2009 and adopt a final version by March 31, 2010. This settlement brings us one step closer to cleaner air, cleaner water and safer communities.
Details and Documents:
Cleaner Air for Region
January 17, 2009 by Rick Karlin, Times Union
See other "Safeguarding Communities" cases.