A plan to cut cement dust from two plants in Mason City awaits federal approval. The State Environmental Protection Commission yesterday approved the agreement, which calls for periodic washing and sweeping of nine miles of hauling roads used by the cement plants.Brian Button, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says some of those roads are paved, others aren’t.Button says under the agreement, the cement plant managers must also update and get new permits for several hundred pieces of equipment.The Environmental Protection Commission met yesterday in Lewis and approved the deal. The state is suing Lehigh Portland Cement of Mason City for repeated violations of air quality standards. On a related matter, the Environmental Protection Commission voted to raise the fee charge for emissions from 24-dollars per ton to 29-dollars per ton. The higher fee will take effect sometime next year, probably in May.
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