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Saint Gobain, Lafarge Glass and Cement Plants to Install Pollution Controls

The US EPA continues its New Source Review initiative. The agency has announced that emissions from container glass and Portland cement plants will be reduced under the settlement of a New Source Review case. The settlement requires the affected facilities to install new pollution control equipment Selective Catalytic Reduction, and to continuously monitor their emissions.

The settlements cover 15 U.S. plants owned by Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., the nation’s second largest container glass manufacturer, and all 13 U.S. plants owned by the Lafarge Company and two subsidiaries, the nation’s second largest manufacturer of Portland cement. These settlements are the first system-wide settlements for these sectors under the Clean Air Act and require pollution control upgrades, acceptance of enforceable emission limits and payment of civil penalties.

The facilities are estimated to reduce a combined 41,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) each year. SO2, NOx, and PM can trigger respiratory difficulties and asthma, and environmental impacts such as acid rain, visibility impairments, and water quality impacts.

“These two settlements are excellent examples of businesses working with government to achieve compliance at their facilities around the country, which will benefit the health of local communities and the environment,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Enforcing the Clean Air Act’s new source review program is a priority, not just in the coal-fired power plant industry, but also in industries like cement and glass manufacturing that have been identified as major sources of air pollution. Companies in these industries should strongly consider the benefits of these types of settlements as we intend to aggressively enforce compliance with the law.”

Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. of Muncie, Ind. has agreed, in a consent decree filed today in federal court in Seattle, to install pollution control equipment at an estimated cost of $112 million to reduce emissions of NOx, SOx, and PM by approximately 6,000 tons each year. The settlement covers 15 plants in 13 states. Two of the 15 plants have been closed by Saint-Gobain for independent business reasons.

Saint-Gobain has agreed to implement pollution controls, including the installation of the first-ever selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system at a container glass plant in the U.S. Saint-Gobain will also install continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) at all of their glass plants.

Lafarge North America, Inc., based in Herndon, Va., and two of its subsidiaries have agreed in a consent decree filed in federal court in Benton, Ill., to install and implement control technologies at an expected cost of up to $170 million to reduce emissions of NOx by more than 9,000 tons each year and SO2 by more than 26,000 tons per year at their cement plants.

Lafarge has agreed to install the first-ever SCR system at a cement plant in the United States. In addition, Lafarge has also agreed to install seven selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) systems at long dry cement kilns. This is among the first application of this technology to this type of kiln in the United States. Lafarge will also install CEMS at all of their cement kilns.

Article by Roger Greenway, appearing courtesy of ENN

photo: Saint Gobain Containers