Cemex disputing claims in EPA suit

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Cemex-USA disputed claims made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a lawsuit filed this week, saying the expansion of its massive Victorville cement plant not only didn’t skirt the rules, it’s also environmentally friendly and received the blessing of state officials. The company – whose aggregate mine planned outside Santa Clarita’s borders is on hold – said it followed a transparent and thorough permitting process, and state officials reviewed the improvements every step of the way. “The EPA was aware of our plans a decade ago, as we worked with (California) regulators to secure the right permits,” Cemex spokeswoman Susana Duarte said Thursday. “They did not make any requests for us to obtain federal permission at the time.” The company spent $181million improving the cement-making plant in 1999 and an additional $16million a few years later on a storage building that diminishes the release of fugitive dust from the plant, Duarte said. The EPA’s lawsuit, filed Monday, says Cemex CaliforniaLLC failed to follow federal regulations when it expanded the Victorville facility – one of the largest cement-making plants in the country – in 1997 and 2000. “We stand by the legal filing made Monday,” EPA spokesman Francisco Arcaute said. Should the EPA prevail in court, Cemex could face fines of up to $27,500 a day for violations prior to March 2004 and up to $32,500 per day for violations after that time. [email protected] (661) 257-5255last_img read more