A cement maker has agreed to a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several states, including Iowa. As part of the deal, Lafarge North America will make improvements to reduce emissions at 13 plants around the country. Bob Brammer, with the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says the company will spend $3 million on their plant located near Davenport.
Brammer says all of the improvements across the country will cost Lafarge roughly $170 million. The states and the U.S. E.P.A. alleged Lafarge had converted its fuel over the last 20 years – resulting in a significant increase in air pollution. The plant in Buffalo, Iowa produces more than a million tons of cement annually. The improvements are designed to cut sulfur dioxide emissions.
Brammer says the company estimates the improvements will reduce the emissions at the Buffalo plant by 970 tons per year. In addition to the plant improvements, Lafarge will pay a $5 million civil penalty. Each of the states will share one-third of the penalty, approximately $1.7 million, based on emissions from each of the plants.
Iowa’s share equals $135,000. The other two-thirds of the penalty will go to the federal government. Lafarge North America is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia and employs more than 16,600 people in the U.S. and Canada.