The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Cemex de Puerto Rico Inc. will spend an estimated $1.7 million on pollution controls that will reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides, pollutants that can lead to respiratory illnesses. In addition, the company will pay a $160,000 penalty for Clean Air Act violations.
“Air pollution of the type from this cement plant can lead to a number of serious health and environmental problems, including respiratory problems, heart disease and smog,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “The EPA settlement protects children with asthma and other vulnerable populations from harmful air pollution by requiring that Cemex install state-of-the-art technology and take immediate steps to reduce pollutants.”
Following an EPA inspection, Cemex conducted a smokestack test at its Ponce facility and potential violations were discovered. The settlement addressed modifications the company made to the cement plant without obtaining the proper permits, as required by the Clean Air Act. As part of the settlement, Cemex will install control technology, which will reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides by approximately 1,423 tpy.