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Pca: $4.7B Price Tag For Epa Proposal


In a June 28 webinar hosted by Cement Americas, Portland Cement Association’s Vice President-Regulatory Affairs Andrew O’Hare, CAE, and Chief Economist Edward Sullivan cited dire consequences for the cement industry of national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency

In a June 28 webinar hosted by Cement Americas, Portland Cement Associationís Vice President-Regulatory Affairs Andrew OíHare, CAE, and Chief Economist Edward Sullivan cited dire consequences for the cement industry of national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency: chiefly, closure of a minimum 30 cement plants subject to compliance-related investments, amounting to an outlay for abatement equipment of $60 million average per plant and $4.7 billion industry wide. Moreover, in view of initial and operational expenses, an added cost of $21/ton of cement is likely by 2020.

Coinciding with the cement industryís current $7 billion ramp up, Sullivan said, EPA regulations and associated costs stand to precipitate a loss upwards of 27 million tons of annual U.S. clinker production capacity and propel imports to 36 percent of domestic powder consumption by decade's end. U.S. output already constrained by escalating regulatory demands would be further imperiled by NESHAP-free markets worldwide, as international companies weigh investment in the United States versus overseas capacity. Thus, Sullivan envisioned a 2020 scenario of demand growth coupled with NESHAP mandates resulting in a 54 million-ton [48m Mton] gap between domestic consumption and capacity.

To mitigate the potentially devastating impact of EPAís NESHAP proposalótargeting mercury, total hydrocarbons (THC), hydrochloric acid, and particulate matteróOíHare discussed PCA modifications that would address variability of raw material input; develop standards for cement plant subcategories to establish achievable mercury and THC limits; eliminate prescriptive use of technologies, such as regenerative thermal oxidizers for VOC destruction; rely on preexisting plans that adequately minimize emissions during start-up, shut-down and malfunction; and, avoid leakage of contaminants from unregulated markets. Further, he emphasized the need to set realistic and viable thresholds, noting that of 20 cement plants sampled by EPA to compute proposed emission standards, none would be able to meet all four NESHAP pollutant limits.