Commentary: 'Green cement' policies help North Texas cities curb smog

This editorial was published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.

"Green cement" - the term for cement produced via a less-polluting process - is quickly proving its worth in North Central Texas.

The region long has been in violation of federal air quality standards. Emissions from three cement-producing plants in Midlothian, in the northwest corner of Ellis County, are a significant source of industrial air pollution blown into Fort Worth, Arlington and other Tarrant County cities.

These cement plants belch nitrogen oxides, which contribute to ground-level ozone, the chief ingredient in smog. High smog concentrations can trigger asthma attacks, worsen bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses and hinder lung development in children. Ozone exposure can contribute to premature death for people with heart and lung disease.

It therefore was greatly encouraging to hear Brian Boerner, environmental management director for the city of Fort Worth, on Oct. 21 outline the results thus far of the city’s implementation of a "green cement" policy that calls for the city to buy cement produced by a less-polluting "dry kiln" process, as opposed to a "wet kiln" method.

The cities of Arlington, Dallas and Plano also have adopted "green cement" policies, and more cities reportedly are considering doing so.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.