(CN) – Pennsylvania-based Essroc Cement Co. will pay $1.7 million in penalties and spend $33 million on pollution control technology to settle a Clean Air Act complaint involving six of its cement plants, the Justice Department said.
Prosecutors say the settlement will protect public health by keeping more than 7,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide pollution out of the atmosphere each year. The compounds contribute to childhood asthma, acid rain and smog.
Essroc also agreed to spend $745,000 to mitigate the effects of past emissions.
“These comprehensive measures at multiple Essroc facilities will achieve substantial reductions in harmful air pollution and result in cleaner, healthier air for many people across the country,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “This will bring Essroc into compliance with the nation’s Clean Air Act …”
Under the settlement, Nazareth, Pa.-based Essroc will install state-of-the-art pollution control technology to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions at five plants and a selective catalytic reduction system system at two long wet kilns in its Logansport, Ind., plant. If successful, these will be the first selective catalytic reduction used on long wet kilns anywhere in the world.
Essroc will also permanently shut its sixth plant, in Bessemer, Pa.
The settlement also requires Essroc to spend $745,000 on mitigation to replace old engines in several off-road vehicles at its plant sites. The replacement engines will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 50 to 80 percent from each engine.