Environmental Exposures and Financial Assurance for the Cement / Masonry Industry

environmental Strategist, between the lines:  Every business is impacted by environmental exposures and a Certified environmental Strategist (CeS) understands in today’s business environment, it’s imperative that businesses have an environmental financial assurance strategy to back stop potential environmental liabilities.  There are a variety of environmental financial assurance instruments available, i.e. bonds, insurance, captives (EnviroCap), letter of credit, self-insurance….

Simply due to the product they are dealing with the cement / masonry industry from manufacture (emulsifiers, silica, carbon dioxide and other air emissions), to use and disposal is not an environmentally friendly industry.

The EPA states “the cement sector is the third largest industrial source of pollution emitting more than 500,000 tons per year of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide.”

Cement kilns used in the manufacturing of cement need to be heated.  The main source for heating is coal.  Due to the high cost of operating the cement kilns at high temperatures some cement kilns will burn hazardous waste as a supplemental fuel.  Cement kilns that burn hazardous waste (i.e. solvents; waste oil; sludge from petroleum refining, paints and coatings; waste oil…) must comply with both RCRA (Resource Conservation & Recovery Act) and CAA (Clean Air Act).  Bottom line, cement kilns that burn hazardous waste are being monitored by the Government and further supports the need for an environmental financial assurance strategy.

During manufacturing, construction, demolition, natural disasters…, cement dust is generated which is a hazardous air pollutant.

An article from The Economic Times points out, “cement produces more pollution than all the trucks in the world.”  https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/cement-produces-more-pollution-than-all-the-trucks-in-the-world/articleshow/69919005.cms

I could continue highlighting environmental exposures impacting the cement / masonry industry but simply due to the materials and processes used, they are great candidates for pollution insurance to meet their environmental financial assurance strategy.

The links below offer additional information on cement businesses negatively impacting our environment and human health.

https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/indiana-cement-plant-faces-730k-in-fines-for-air-pollution.php

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-fines-mason-city-iowa-cement-manufacturer-alleged-clean-air-act-violations

https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2021/attorney-general-james-holds-albany-area-cement-plant-accountable-years-water

https://www.wamc.org/capital-region-news/2021-04-30/federal-government-nys-reach-settlement-with-cement-plant

https://www.aggregateresearch.com/news/national-cement-fined-148000-over-mercury-emission-violations/

https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-announces-75-million-settlement-lehigh-cement

You can also go to the EPA Cement Manufacturing Enforcement Initiative  https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/cement-manufacturing-enforcement-initiative for more on the cement industry and additional cement plant settlements.

 

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