Indiana Cement Plant Faces $730K In Fines For Air Pollution

GREENCASTLE, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana cement plant is facing more than $700,000 in fines under a settlement stemming from alleged Clean Air Act violations for air pollution releases dating back nearly a decade.

The settlement filed Thursday in federal court calls for Lone Star Industries, Inc. to pay $729,000 in civil penalties and undertake additional measures not required by law to mitigate past violations of Clean Air Act limits, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

A complaint filed with the settlement alleges numerous and longstanding violations at the company's plant in Greencastle, about 45 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Those alleged violations date from 2010 to the present and involve emissions of particulate matter that exceeded state and federal limits. Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can migrate deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems.

The settlement with the DOJ, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Indiana also calls for the plant to upgrade and optimize its pollution control equipment and procedures, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Lone Star Industries, a subsidiary of Italian company Buzzi Unicem, will have to spend about $1.4 million to bring the plant into compliance and mitigate for past harms.

The EPA estimates those measures will reduce the plant’s particulate matter emissions by 2.44 tons per year and cut its carbon monoxide emissions by roughly 46 tons per year, among other reductions.

The plant's chief product is portland cement, which is widely used to produce concrete for construction projects.

The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.