LYONS, Colo. (AP) -- A cement manufacturer in Lyons has agreed to pay a $1 million fine and to install controls to decrease its emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday.
The EPA had accused Cemex, Inc., which operates the Portland cement facility, of illegally modifying its Lyons plant in a way that increased the amount of nitrogen oxide the facility released.
According to the EPA, nitrogen oxide can cause respiratory problems and contribute to childhood asthma. The pollutant is also a cause of acid rain, smog and haze.
Cemex will install an advanced pollution control technology expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 1,000 tons per year. EPA officials say this could improve visibility at Rocky Mountain National Park, just 20 miles away from the cement plant.
The settlement is part of Justice Department and EPA efforts to bring significant air pollution from some cement manufacturers into compliance with the Clean Air Act, Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a prepared statement.
Mexico-based Cemex is North Americas largest cement producer.