EPA will limit mercury, other pollutants from cement plants

The Environmental Protection Agency has completed regulations limiting the release of mercury and other toxic air pollutants from cement plants, a move the Obama administration said would save lives but that cement makers warned could drive jobs overseas.

This is the first time the federal government has restricted emissions from existing cement kilns. The regulations aim to reduce, by 2013, the annual emissions of mercury and particulate matter by 92%, hydrochloric acid by 97% and sulfur dioxide by 78%.

EPA officials said the limits would benefit children, whose brains can be damaged by mercury that makes its way through the air to water and then to fish that children eat. They also predicted the rules would stave off thousands of premature heart and lung deaths each year attributed to particulate pollution.

By reducing harmful pollutants in the air we breathe, we cut the risk of asthma attacks and save lives,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a statement.

Environmentalists said California, which is the nation’s largest producer of cement and has several heavy-emitting kilns, would see particularly high public health returns…

Cement producers said the rules would cost them “several billion dollars” to implement by installing pollution scrubbers at existing kilns. They warned that regulations could lead to plant closures and job outsourcing.

There’s more of the same from the corporate suits. Mostly crap threats.

They know that products with safety regulations governing their manufacture in the USA are just as easy to ban from import under the same regulations.

True. Manufacturers needn’t worry much about laws being enforced under a Republican administration; but, I believe we’re safe from that for another six years, anyway. Especially if the GOP continues to be led around by nose rings attached to teabaggers who wish for leaded gas, free cigarettes for schoolchildren and the return of black-and-white TV.

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