EPA Issues Final Rule on Cement Factory Emissions

Huge Cuts in Mercury Pollution Will Protect Public Health

WASHINGTON (August 9, 2010) -- The Environmental Protection Agency issued new national limits on toxic air emissions from cement plants today.

Mercury is a neurotoxin that is harmful to infants and young children. Prenatal exposure to even low doses of mercury is associated with childhood deficits in IQ, attention span and physical coordination. Even tiny amounts of mercury can pollute water bodies and contaminate fish we later eat.

NRDC experts are still analyzing the details of the more than 450-page rule to see if EPA has done everything it should to follow the law and protect the public.

The following is a statement from Avinash Kar, a staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Kar wrote NRDC’s comments on the proposed rule sent to the EPA in September: 

“The cement industry has had a free pass for decades, polluting communities with high levels of mercury, soot and smog, acids, and nitrogen oxides. Fortunately, that’s about to change. When this new EPA rule comes into effect in 2013, it will reduce mercury pollution from this industry by 92 percent and cut emissions of hydrochloric acid by 97 percent. This means cleaner air for communities across the country, and safer fish in our nation’s lakes and streams.”