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EPA cites Cemex for clean-air violations

Release Date: 4/14/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA045

CHICAGO (Apr. 14, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Cemex Inc. for alleged clean-air violations at the company’s Portland cement Plant At 3250 Linebaugh Road, Xenia, Ohio.

EPA alleges Cemex modified its plant causing significant increases in emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates (smoke, dust, ash) without getting a state permit requiring emission controls.

These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. Cemex has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss the allegations and how to resolve them.

Exposure to sulfur dioxide can impair breathing, aggravate existing respiratory diseases like bronchitis and reduce the ability of the lungs to clear foreign particles. Sulfur dioxide can cause acid rain and contribute to fine particle pollution. Children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions are the most sensitive to sulfur dioxide.

Nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, or smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of air pollutants is baked in the hot summer sun. Smog can cause a variety of respiratory problems, including coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. People with asthma, children and the elderly are especially at risk, but these health concerns are important to everyone.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most.

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