Cement industry challenges EPA rule driving $26/ton spike

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C. office; CP staff

A PCA Petition for Reconsideration and Administrative Stay with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites late additions to a final rule—national emission standard for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP)—the agency issued in August without affording opportunity for public comment.The association will file a companion petition with the District of Columbia Circuit Court.

NESHAP requires cement mills to limit emissions of mercury, total hydrocarbons, hydrochloric acid and particulate matter by September 2013. PCA estimates that compliance with it and EPA-proposed regulations could add a minimum of $26 per ton to domestic cement production costs by 2020.

“PCA supports the rising demand for portland cement through environmentally and socially responsible business practices,” says CEO Brian McCarthy. “The NESHAP emission limits are very low and will not be achievable by a number of facilities. We are concerned that the rule presents a significant threat to the continued viability of many cement companies, high paying jobs at cement facilities and the local communities.”