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NESHAP compliance date extension will preserve jobs, says PCA

World Cement,

NESHAP public hearing

As recently reported, a proposal to alter the standard for Particulate Matter (PM) emissions in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national emission standard for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) means that the deadline for compliance is likely to be put back from September 2013 to September 2015. As well as allowing the cement industry to address new proposals for the PM emissions, it will also preserve vital manufacturing jobs, according to statements issued by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) at a public hearing in Arlington, Texas.

Speaking at the hearing, Andy O’Hare, PCA vice president for regulatory affairs, said, “With the additional time for compliance, the industry will be able to fully complete any planning, engineering and construction that may be necessary to achieve compliance with the revised standards and hopefully accomplish that during a more robust economic time period.” The PCA also expressed that the new PM standard should reduce the number of plants that would otherwise be forced to close, potentially putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Plans for compliance

The industry presented an outline for the measures that plants will undertake towards achieving compliance. These will include new engineering studies, the procurement and design of new technologies, and any construction that is required.

“The cement industry takes its environmental performance seriously,” O’Hare said. “During the last decade, cement plants have successfully addressed the demand for Portland cement while developing and implementing environmentally and socially responsible business practices.  The industry has invested in technology to reduce air emissions, minimise waste production, recycle and recover inputs, enhance energy efficiency and conserve natural resources – all the while producing a reliable and affordable supply of building materials to support our economy.”


This news follows a recent report from the PCA that it anticipates a 6.9% increase in cement consumption this year on 2011 levels, followed by a 5.8% increase in 2013 and a rise of 10.9% in 2014. Whilst Ed Sullivan, PCA Chief Economist, believed initially that short-term economic growth was uncertain, the highway bill (H.R.4348) recently passed by congress looks set to increase cement demands as it comes in to force. This prospective increase in consumption is just one more reason that the delay to NESHAP is a positive step. The US cement industry will have time to meet the technological demands of meeting new EPA standards, as well as ensuring that it is able to supply the demand for more cement without the need to supplement it with imported products.

Adapted from various sources by Jack Davidson.

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