The Portland Cement Association (PCA), along with other national business groups and associations, filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a lawsuit filed by several special interest groups seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone below the 70 parts per billion (ppb) level set in 2015. PCA is also participating in a lawsuit filed by business groups seeking to challenge the legality of the standard.
Michael Schon, vice president and counsel of government affairs at PCA, released the following statement: “The cement industry has for well over a century served as the foundation of economic development in the U.S. This is a responsibility we take seriously and with pride, as we do environmental stewardship. As part of our commitment to both the natural and the built environment, we continuously make significant investments in equipment, systems and operating methods to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. Thus far since 2000, these measures have contributed to an 18 percent reduction in U.S. ozone levels.
“Ozone levels continue to drop, and today most areas meet or exceed the requirements set by EPA in 2008, Schon said. “Although this should be considered a great success, EPA is resetting the game by lowering ozone limits even further. This will likely make it impossible for the most difficult areas to comply. Cement manufacturers will continue developing and deploying technologies to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact, and will strive to meet all applicable rules and regulations.”