Displaying items by tag: pollution
US: A legal challenge to the cancelled Titan American Castle Hayne cement plant has ended following the termination of a challenged air pollution permit by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality. Titan rescinded the permit, following its announcement in March 2016 to cancel its cement plant project. It was originally issued in 2012.
"For years, Titan and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) tried to keep citizen groups from getting a hearing on significant and avoidable air pollution from this proposed plant," said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who represented the North Carolina Coastal Federation, Cape Fear River Watch, PenderWatch & Conservancy, and Sierra Club. "We have achieved the goal of this lawsuit - protecting citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties from Titan’s pollution when DEQ failed to do so."
Titan will continue to operate a cement terminal at the site. On 12 April 2016, the North Carolina Court of Appeals granted citizen groups’ request to dismiss the appeal because the approval of the plant had been withdrawn, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center.
Vietnam: The People’s Committee of the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh have decided to stop the loading and discharge activities and transport of clinker, cement and wood chips on Ha Long Bay due to pollution fears at the tourist site.
Under the decision No. 617/QD-UBND, transportation of bulk cargo, such as clinker, cement and wood chips will be terminated from 1 July 2016. Transportation of these goods will be moved to Hon Net port on Bai Tu Long bay instead. The provincial People Committee has also previously proposed that the government stop upgrades at two cement plants, Thang Long 2 and Ha Long, due to similar concerns.
Ha Long Bay, which spans 1553km2 and houses 1969 islands of various sizes, was recognised as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizatio (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1994 and 2000. It is a major tourist attraction in the country with more than 500 tourist boats in service.
India: The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to 13 cement companies on a petition alleging that they are violating its orders and environmental norms as well as the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, by causing air pollution. The petitioner, Neena Pradeep, has also accused the cement companies of overloading their trucks with cement and clinkers in order to save toll tax, according to the Hindu. Violations by Shree Cement and JK Cement were highlighted during the hearing. They have allegedly overloaded their trucks by 200 - 250%.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency defers approval for tyre-derived fuel plant at Bestway Cement29 February 2016
Pakistan: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deferred the approval for setting up a tyre-derived fuel (TDF) plant at the Bestway Cement plant in Farooqia. The decision has been left by the EPA to consent from the local community, according to local press.
EPA Director General Dr Bashir Khan said at a public meeting that unless local residents were satisfied, Bestway Cement would not be issued a no-objection certificate. Residents have cited dust, smoke, noise and water pollution as reasons to object against the proposed plant. Qamar Hayat, a local activist, said that locals would allow the EPA to approve the TDF plant when they were guaranteed pollution would be monitored and that health hazards and property losses would be checked.
India: Pollution caused by seven cement plants in the Khrew area of South Kashmir is adversely affecting wildlife, saffron production, human and livestock wellbeing, according to local media.
The local people said that the worst affected villages of Khrew include Pakhribal Nagadore and Botthen. The lives of people living in these villages have been 'turned into hell.' Locals have demanded that the government strictly enforce pollution control norms at the cement plants.
Environmental science expert Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, who has studied the effects of cement plants in Khrew on the human lives, flora, fauna and wildlife, said that their presence is harmful in the short- and long-term. He said that mercury emissions have already affected saffron production, while dust pollution has affected both Khrew woods and the neighbouring village of Harwan. Bhat added that the area also has more respiratory problems among locals.
A meeting between the civil society Khrew Auqaf Committee, deputy commissioner Pulwama Neeraj Kumar and the cement plant owners was held to discuss pollution and monitoring. A resolution is expected to be presented at a second meeting within a month.
Pakistan: People living in the vicinity of Kohat Cement Factory have complained that dust and fumes emitted from the plant's two kilns are causing serious diseases. A group of local elders said that continuous blasts in the mountains near the factory had also caused cracks in the houses of local people, but that the factory administration was not ready to listen to their complaints or provide assistance to repair them.
The elders said that the plant administration was bound under an agreement to pay surface rent to the people on whose collective land the plant had been built, but no dues had been paid to the people since 1992. The agreement also included providing 80% of the jobs in the plant to local people, which the elders said was also being violated.
Greece: The Supreme Court of Greece has ordered the Heracles' General Cement Company, a subsidiary of Lafarge, to pay the residents of Agia Marina, Halkida Euro78,000 as compensation for pollution from its cement plant.
The court upheld the settlement's arguments that the cement plant had failed
to adhere to the environmental terms in its operating licence in order to avoid the relevant costs and refused to take measures for the proper maintenance and modernisation of its facilities. They said this resulted in all outdoor areas in the village being covered in a layer of cement dust up to 1.2cm thick, including the nearby coastline.
The village residents had originally sued for a total of Euro1.14m but the court awarded the residents a much lower sum, even though it found that the company's omissions fully justified their claim to moral damages resulting from their deprivation of environmental benefits and the threat to their health from exposure to environmental pollution.
India: The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) of Odisha has issued a show cause notice to UltraTech Cement plants at Arda village, Kirmira, for violating pollution norms and asked the company to respond within 15 days as to why action should not be taken against it.
Residents of the areas surrounding the Ultratech plant have complained that white dust released by the plant is causing health hazard. Regional Officer of SPCB, Mukesh Mahalinga, said that the show cause notice was issued after an SPCB team inspected the plant and its surrounding areas on 5 – 10 December 2013. He said that if the company management fails to submit a satisfactory explanation for the non-functioning of an dust metre in the plant, action will be taken against it.
China: The city of Beijing will ban the construction of new oil refining, steel, cement and thermal power plants as well as the expansion of existing projects, in accordance with the government's latest policy document aimed at tackling air pollution.
The ban will take effect from March 2014. The policy document, which was approved by local legislature in mid-January 2014, also commits China's capital city to cut total emissions of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 by 5% in 2014.
Beijing was hit by weeks of hazardous smog in January 2013, prompting the central government to pledge tough new measures to improve air quality throughout the country and head off public disquiet about the environmental costs of economic growth.
US: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry groups including cement producers have failed to settle a permit dispute that is testing whether the agency has the authority to require operators of hazardous waste combustion units to conduct risk assessments that can be used to strengthen emissions limits for mercury and other pollutants when renewing the facilities' existing waste and air permits. Negotiations stalled during a meeting in November 2013 between EPA lawyers and cement kiln operators at EPA's Region V offices, according to an 8 January 2014 status report the parties filed with the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). Litigation will continue on 20 February 2014.
The case began on 8 July 2013 when ESSROC Cement petitioned the EAB to review Region V's decision requiring a site-specific risk assessments (SSRA) at ESSROC's hazardous waste combustor facility in Logansport, Indiana, during the 2012 renewal of the facility's RCRA permit. After the facility conducted the SSRA, Region V imposed a restrictive annual mercury feed rate limit, which ESSROC said, "goes far beyond what is necessary to protect human health and the environment."
The case marks a new test for the risk assessment requirements EPA attached to its 2005 regulations governing hazardous waste combustion facilities that emit air pollutants, including cement kilns. The 2005 regulations set strict new maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the combustion facilities that burn the hazardous waste. The rule also integrated the MACT standards with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements so that facilities must comply with the MACT standards to be eligible for RCRA permits.