The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Holcim Inc. entered into a consent agreement in which Holcim will pay a $50,000 penalty for unpermitted discharges to the Weber River at the Devil’s Slide Quarry in Morgan, Utah.
“Stormwater permits are designed to prevent contaminated runoff from damaging rivers and streams,” said Mike Gaydosh, EPA’s enforcement director in Denver. “EPA notes that Holcim has developed a plan and secured a permit for its Devil’s Slide Quarry that will minimize the future release of pollutants to the Weber River.” The agreement resolves an EPA complaint alleging that runoff from the quarry entered the river without a required Clean Water Act permit from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ). The complaint was a follow-up to an earlier order issued by EPA.
In May 2008, EPA inspected Devil’s Slide Quarry and found evidence of a discharge to the Weber River from an impoundment built to store stormwater and/or process water runoff from rain or snowmelt. At the time of the inspection, Holcim had not sought or obtained a permit from UDEQ to discharge stormwater from the facility. EPA has authorized UDEQ to implement the stormwater permitting program under the Clean Water Act.
In June 2009, a follow-up inspection by UDEQ found that the facility was discharging stormwater and/or process water from the impoundment to the Weber River. Pollutants entering the river would have been minimized or prevented if the quarry had implemented adequate control measures as required by a permit.
In August 2009, EPA issued an order which required Holcim to develop a plan to prevent and report any stormwater discharges to the Weber River, and to apply for a UDEQ stormwater permit covering discharges from the facility. UDEQ has now issued the facility an individual permit for their operations.
Cemex Cement Plant Fined $1.4 Million
Cemex Inc. will pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations at its site near Fairborn, Ohio. In addition, Cemex will spend about $2 million on pollution controls. Those controls are designed to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), pollutants that can lead to childhood asthma, acid rain and smog.
The agreement was announced by EPA and the U.S. Justice Department. “Emissions of harmful pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can lead to a number of serious health and environmental problems, including premature death and heart disease,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
“Today’s settlement will help keep harmful air pollution out of Ohio communities, protect children with asthma and prevent region-wide public health problems.” The $1.4 million penalty will be distributed, with $932,400 going to the United States, $233,800 to the state of Ohio ($46,760 designated for Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Program Fund) and $233,800 going to the Ohio Regional Air Pollution Control Agency.
“Through this action, the United States and Ohio will secure reductions of harmful emissions by requiring that Cemex adopt state-of-the-art technology and take immediate steps to control pollutants,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
Green Asphalt Helps Phoenix School
Emerald Cities USA Ltd. has resurfaced the world's first solar reflective "Green" asphalt parking lot to demonstrate the importance of "Cool Pavement" addressing Urban Heat Island in the cities. This 24,000-sq.-ft. parking lot was donated to Mayor Gordon's Phoenix Recovery Zone at the Duffy Charter School where asphalt temperatures soared to 200 F last summer in Arizona. The importance of "Cool Pavement" in a school setting cannot be overstated. Heat radiated from asphalt remains between 1 to 4 ft. and is a "danger zone" where children play during recess because of the risk of heat stroke. This is an Emerald Cities "Cool Schools" project.
Black asphalt covers 60 percent of city surfaces as a silent contributor to heat, smog and C02 from parking lots, airports, amusement parks, shopping malls and roadways. Green building can never be "zero carbon" until the asphalt portion of the project is addressed. EC "Cool Pavement" reduces surface heat by 30 F to 50 F on summer days, reducing smog and C02. It is a nano-engineered, ultra-high performance thin concrete; proven roadworthy at 1/6-in. thickness. It is 4,300+ psi, 100+ skid resistant, impervious to UV, non-delaminating, comes in colors, extends the service life of existing asphalt, and is easy to apply with no milling required, according to the company.