Lone Star Industries Inc, a subsidiary of Italian company Buzzi Unicem, has agreed to upgrade and optimize pollution control equipment and procedures at its cement manufacturing facility in Greencastle, Indiana, to resolve Clean Air Act (CAA) violations brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement alleges numerous, longstanding Clean Air Act violations at the Greencastle plant that date from 2010 to the present. Many of the violations involved opacity in emissions that exceeded state and federal limits. Opacity measures the amount of light blocked by emissions of particulate matter. Particulate matter, especially fine particulates, contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets, which can migrate deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. The complaint also alleges violations of CAA requirements that limit emissions of other hazardous air pollutants from the burning of hazardous wastes which Lone Star uses to heat its cement kilns.
“This settlement is a reminder that industrial facilities must comply with the law and prevent illegal emissions of harmful pollutants from plant operations,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jean E. Williams of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). “The settlement requires Lone Star to improve its processes and pollution controls to protect air quality and the public health in surrounding communities.”
“The health of the citizens of the State of Indiana is a top priority of my office,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress of the Southern District of Indiana. “Successful efforts such as this protect and preserve the environment for current and future generations and demonstrate our ongoing dedication to that goal.”
“EPA is committed to improving air quality in Indiana in order to protect people’s health and the environment,” said Acting EPA Region 5 Administrator Cheryl Newton. “Reducing particulate matter especially benefits vulnerable populations such as children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases.”
Under the settlement, Lone Star also will pay $729,000 in civil penalties, split equally between the United States and the State of Indiana, and will undertake additional measures not required by law to mitigate past violations of CAA opacity limits.
EPA estimates that the measures in the consent decree will reduce emissions of particulate matter from the Lone Star plant by 2.44 tons per year, carbon monoxide emissions by 46.39 tons per year, and other hazardous air pollutants by 1.69 tons per year. Lone Star will spend approximately $1.4 million at the Greencastle facility to bring it into compliance and to mitigate for past harm.
The settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. It will be available for viewing at www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.
Information about EPA Region 5’s air enforcement program is at http://www.epa.gov/region5/air/enforce/index.html.
Potential environmental violations may be reported at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.