Continental Cement Company, LLC, has agreed to complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) valued at $300,000 at its facility in Hannibal. The announcement was made Tuesday by Region 7 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The SEP is part of a consent agreement with EPA Region 7 in which Continental Cement has also agreed to pay a $22,025 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act in 2007 and 2008.
The SEP will eliminate Continental Cement’s outside clinker storage pile along with the associated material handling system and will replace it with enclosed conveyors and a dust controlled truck load-out. The SEP will reduce the generation of particulate matter emissions at the facility by 15 tons per year.
“Reducing the amount of particulate matter generated at the facility will result in cleaner air for the employees working on site and for the surrounding community,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks in a media release. “This Supplemental Environmental Project sets an example for similar companies to follow to protect the quality of our air.”
“It’s good to move forward by doing a project we would otherwise not be required to do that will benefit the environment,” said Scott Conroy, vice president of manufacturing for Continental Cement, adding that the project is due to be completed next spring.
According to the EPA, Continental Cement exceeded the nitrogen oxide emission limit during 2007 and 2008, in violation of the federally approved Missouri State Implementation Plan and the Clean Air Act. Continental Cement did not meet the limit nor did it install or operate any approved alternatives during 2007 and 2008.
Conroy notes that the violations occurred while Continental Cement was still using its old kiln, which was taken out of service in 2008.
“The new plant is highly efficient,” said Conroy. “It’s a state-of-the-art facility.”
Nitrogen oxide emissions contribute to the formation of ground level ozone and acid rain, according to the EPA. Children, the elderly, people with lung diseases, and people who work or exercise outside are at risk for adverse effects from ozone. When deposited on land and in water bodies, nitrogen oxide can result in a wide variety of indirect harmful effects on plants, soils, wildlife, water quality and fish.
By agreeing to the settlement, Continental Cement has certified that it is in compliance with the Clean Air Act.
Continental Cement’s Hannibal plant employees a little less than 200 people, according to Conroy.