EPA considering cutting mercury pollution at cement plants

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dozens of speakers at a hearing in Texas on Wednesday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on pollution from cement plants after more than a decade of delay.

The cement industry said that proposed EPA rules would force plants to shut down and might even increase pollution globally if cement manufacturing were pushed overseas.

The 10 cement kilns southeast of Fort Worth are one of the biggest concentrations of plants in the country. The EPA proposal would require companies to slash their emissions of mercury, hydrocarbons such as benzene, particulate matter such as soot, and hydrochloric acid by 77 to 96 percent. All of those pollutants are known or suspected to cause cancer and other illnesses.

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