EPA works out air reduction deal with Ash Grove Cement

The U.S. Department of Justice plans to announce in the June 25 Federal Register the 30-day comment period on a legal settlement with Ash Grove Cement that requires emissions reductions at various coal-consuming, cement-making facilities around the U.S.

On June 19, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The consent decree, if approved by the court, would require Ash Grove Cement to achieve substantial reductions of NOx, SO2 and particulate matter (PM) at its nine cement manufacturing plants operating in as many states.

The states of Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency are parties to the proposed decree.

To reduce NOx emissions, the proposed decree would require Ash Grove to install modern pollution controls on nine of the kilns; shut down two old, inefficient kilns; optimize the operation of two relatively small, older kilns; and meet stringent NOx emission limits. For example, the decree calls for the retirement by September 2014 of Kilns 1 and 2 at the Midlothian, Texas, facility, and the retirement or retrofit with selective non-catalytic reduction technology by September 2014 at Midlothian Kiln 3.

The decree would also require Ash Grove to meet stringent emission limits to reduce SO2 emissions and would require modern pollution controls to reduce PM emissions at all eleven kilns that will continue to operate.

The affected facilities include:

  • Foreman Cement Plant, Foreman, Ark.;
  • Chanute Cement Plant, Chanute, Kansas;
  • Durkee Cement Plant, Durkee, Ore.;
  • Leamington Cement Plant, Leamington, Utah; and
  • Seattle Cement Plant, Seattle, Wash.

Coal is an integral part of the cement making process. For example, the decree defines “kiln” as including any associated preheater or precalciner devices, inline raw mills, inline coal mills or alkali bypasses that produces clinker by heating limestone and other materials for subsequent production of Portland cement.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.