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Energy and Environment
Stories focused on energy & environment topics throughout the state of Kansas.

Kansas Company Ordered To Pay Penalty For Pollution

Ash Grove Cement Company has agreed to pay a penalty and invest $30 million in new pollution control technology at its nine manufacturing plants, one of which is in Chanute, Kan. The settlement stems from charges that Ash Grove violated the Clean Air Act.

The consent decree allows the Overland Park-based company to pay a $2.5 million penalty, and install new pollution controls at plants in nine states, without having to admit to violating air quality requirements. The EPA says the new controls will cut nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 17,000 tons per year.

Mark Smith, of the EPA Region Seven office in Kansas City, says the consent decree won’t be finalized until the public has had 30 days to comment on it.

“It alleges that the company made modifications to their kilns over the years without the necessary air permits, with associated air pollution controls,” he says.

As part of the proposed settlement, Ash Grove will install new controls to reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions from the plant in Chanute. They also agree to new limits on the amount of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter that can be emitted.

In addition, the company will put new, cleaner-burning diesel engines in the trucks that haul raw materials to and from the plant.