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Nationwide Alliance Created To Oppose Cemex

Unprecedented Convergence of Communities To Expose Unlawful and Dangerous CEMEX acrivities.

 


( Los Angeles, CA ) – Reflecting mounting opposition by citizens’ groups and government agencies in at least five states across the nation, a number of local community organizations and city interests have formed a National Alliance to fight multinational giant CEMEX and its mining operations across the United States.  This first of its kind national alliance is comprised of active citizens groups from Colorado , California , Ohio , Florida and Michigan that have had to form to fight unlawful or dangerous activities at CEMEX operations in their communities. 

 

CEMEX has a history of violating state and federal regulations across the . It has been cited for thousands of air and water violations in at least eight states - California, New Mexico, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Tennessee - and has already paid $4.5 million dollars in state and federal environmental fines.

 

The Alliance ’s first action was to send the attached letter to the Mexico-based multinational conglomerate to urge the company to abide by all state and federal air, water and environmental standards, and to work more openly and honestly with communities where they operate or are buying plants. They will coordinate efforts and resources to communicate with broader media, shareholders and political leaders about the questionable activities of CEMEX in communities across .

 

 

COLORADO – “The track record of operating violations at CEMEX demonstrates a disregard for the well-being of this community.  After examining the compliance history for CEMEX, compiled by the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, we are appalled at the dire conditions depicted.  They have back-to-back Notices of Violation, and a Compliance Order that includes penalties for poor air pollution control practices and a penalty for the absence of pollution controls that the company asserted that it had as a condition of its permit.  Instead of cleaning up their act or being shut down, they negotiate down the amount of the fines and continue operating, and even intend to expand their operation to include burning tires.  We do not trust this company to protect the health and environment of the residents in our community,” said Anne George, Steering Committee, St. Vrain Valley Community Watchdogs, Colorado .

 

 

OHIO“In March, 2005 the USEPA cited CEMEX for violations of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Part C of the Clean Air Act, dating back to 1997. The Notice of Violation and Finding of Violation stand as unresolved at this time. Also, in July, 2006, the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) issued a Warning Letter to CEMEX for installing an access door on the preheater tower without a permit. Fairborn Citizens must obey the law. Why Doesn’t CEMEX? CEMEX has also requested an exemption from the permitting process to do a 42-day trial burn using old tires. How can they be trusted?” said Dawn Falleur, Green Environmental Coalition, Yellow Springs, Ohio .

 

 

CA - “CEMEX clearly has a track record of averting local community control, and going against the wishes of the communities where they operate. We must work together to protect local control, and the health, safety, and quality of life of our residents,” said Mayor Laurene Weste, Santa Clarita, California .

 

FLORIDA – “In spite of two previous denials by the Manatee County Commission, CEMEX continued to press for approval to construct a concrete ready mix plant in close proximity to several residential communities and schools.  Hundreds of neighbors representing several nearby communities vigorously expressed their strong objections to allowing this proposed plant to be built.  Seeing this concerted opposition, while anticipating long delays in the continued pursuit of the approval process, CEMEX recently agreed to work with Manatee County officials in an attempt to identify a mutually acceptable alternate site.  Only time will tell to help us determine the legitimacy of CEMEX’s recent actions,” said Clint Miller, Chairman of the East Manatee County Coalition, Florida.

 

MICHIGAN “WATCH had good communications with the management team at CEMEX during the time they owned the cement plant in Charlevoix but little results from our efforts.  CEMEX was out of compliance most of the time with stack emissions.  They had problems with dust control around the plant.  They made no effort to control noise.  CEMEX had a serious fuel oil spill that was not detected for months.  Several thousand gallons of fuel oil leaked into the ground beneath the plant resulting in a clean-up that lasted for years. The difference between CEMEX and the current owner, St. Mary's Cement, is like night and day.  St. Mary's has been doing a clean-up of the physical plant, they have installed a new bag house facility which has them in compliance with a dramatic drop in particulate emissions, they have vastly improved blasting techniques, they have employed noise and lighting control measures, they have installed a "green" berm around the quarry and they have been completely open and accessible about everything,” said Bill Henny, President of The Water and Air Team for Charlevoix (WATCH), Michigan.

 

OHIO – "As parents we have great cause for concern -- we hold some of the most sensitive individuals to air pollution, our children, under our care.  We dedicate ourselves to raising healthy children, feeding them natural food, avoiding toxic products and then must send them out to play in some of the most polluted air in the country.  What else can we do as parents but stand up to protect our children from corporations like CEMEX, who pollute without care for our children’s health and welfare," said Aimee

Lunde Maruyama, Parents Against Burning Tires.

More information about CEMEX activities in specific states and communities can be found at: www.coloradocitizens.org ; www.greenlink.org ; www.StopCEMEXMegaMine.com ; www.cleanairohio.org; www.stvrainwatchdogs.org; www.watch@core.com

The Letter To Cemex President Gilberto Perez:


Mr. Gilberto Perez

 

President, CEMEX-US Operations

 


840 Gessner Rd., Suite 1400
Houston, TX 77024

 

 

Dear Mr. Perez,

 

 

As you are well aware, your facilities are causing problems for neighbors across the country. As a result of your company’s unsatisfactory performance, community coalitions in states where you operate have formed a United National Alliance. The National Alliance demands that CEMEX stop polluting and harming our communities. The National Alliance further urges CEMEX to become the good corporate citizen and neighbor you claim to be.

 

 

As your neighbors and concerned citizens, we insist that CEMEX abide by all local communities’ laws, rules and standards for how you operate in our neighborhoods. At the very least, you must follow federal, state, and regional standards for your performance.  CEMEX’s constant disregard for laws and communities’ needs is destroying our quality of life.  You must respect our air and water quality, our environment, our public health and our standards for worker safety. 

 

 

We find your track record appalling.  Together, we have learned that:

 

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        In Boulder County, Colorado , CEMEX amassed 72,067 separate alleged air quality violations in 2004, after having already received one of the largest fines in the state’s history. Further, CEMEX is the only recognized “top polluter” in the county releasing dioxins and furans into the air— among the most dangerous and tightly regulated chemicals in the world.

 

<!--[endif]-->

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        In Los Angeles County, California , a 69-million ton mega mine is planned for a location one mile from thousands of homes and local elementary schools, which would exceed toxic air quality standards by 250%, and add up to 1,164 new truck trips every day onto already-crowded freeways.

 

<!--[endif]-->

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        In Fairborn, Ohio , CEMEX is trying to skirt the public safety air pollution regulations by asking for an exemption to test-burn tires. Unresolved permit violations from 1997 and 2006 make it impossible for this community to trust the company to care about the future health risk.

 

<!--[endif]-->

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        In East Manatee County, Florida , residents are fighting a CEMEX plant in their community, located near 1,500 elementary and middle school children who would adversely be affected due to increased hazardous pollution, noise and dangerous truck traffic to the area.

 

<!--[endif]-->

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        In Charlevoix, Michigan , CEMEX was fined more than $1.3 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department of Environmental Quality for failure to control and limit particulate matter (dust) emissions, perform the required compliance monitoring and follow various other State mandates.

 

<!--[endif]-->

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        In Doña Ana and Otero counties of New Mexico , CEMEX violated numerous federal and state air quality regulations and operating permits at several sand and gravel processing facilities – violations so sever, the State warned of health problems among the young, elderly and those with respiratory ailments.

 

<!--[endif]-->

 

These are just a few of the many serious problems CEMEX is creating in communities – pollution problems, health problems, environmental problems, traffic safety problems, and property devaluation problems, all of which significantly diminish the quality of life for those living around your mining operations. Simply paying millions of dollars in fines does not rectify the damage that has and is being done to our communities.  We insist you find a solution.

 

 

We demand that you stop building massive mines and plants in established residential communities; clean up your dust and air pollution so that it stays out of our lungs and homes; stop solid waste pollution; find more responsible ways to fuel your kilns than burning hazardous waste and tires; stop the constant noise pollution of explosions, crushing and grinding; and redirect the money you would otherwise spend on fines and lawsuits to keeping the communities in a safe and pollution-free environment.

 

 

We will continue our work in every community that faces the challenges of a local CEMEX facility until our needs are met.  In some places, we are willing to sit down with you directly to solve these problems, and help you to be a good neighbor.  In other places, we will work aggressively with legal counsel, Congress, state environmental departments and regulatory agencies overseeing your activities.  In every place, however, we will continue to network and share information and resources with our neighbors, in order to solve these unacceptable problems.

 

 

We are your neighbors and we expect you to be responsible to the communities that host your factories and mining operations. We look forward to working with you to so that you can stop the harm that CEMEX is causing in our communities. 

 


 

 

Laurene Weste, Mayor                                                Jaime Rall

City of Santa Clarita, CA                                              Colorado Citizens Campaign, CO

Aimee Maruyama                                                         Clint Miller

Parents Against Burning Tires, OH                          East Mantee County Coalition, FL

Kari Basey                                                                     Dawn Falleur

Mothers Agaist Burning Tires, CO                            Green Environmental Coalition, OH

Ann George                                                                  Teresa B. Mills                        

St. Vrain Valley Community Watchdogs, CO         Buckeye Environmental Network

 

Additional Alliance Members:
The Water and Air Team for Charlevoix (WATCH), Michigan

 

 

 

cc:        U.S. President George W. Bush

 

 

            California Legislators

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein

 

            Senator Barbara Boxer

 

            Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon

 

            Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

            Senator George Runner

 

            Assemblyperson Keith Richman

 

            Assemblyperson Sharon Runner

 

            Santa Clarita City Council

 

 

            Colorado Legislators

 

            Senator Wayne Allard

 

            Senator Ken Salazar

 

            Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave

 

            Congressman Bob Schaffer

 

            Congressman Mark Udall

 

            Congressman David Skaggs

 

            Governor Bill Owens

 

            Representative Brandon Shaffer

 

            Senator Rob Tupa

 

           

 

            Ohio Legislators

 

Senator Mike DeWine

 

            Senator George Voinovich

 

            Congressman David Hobson

 

            Governor Bob Taft

 

            Senator Steve Austria

 

            Representative Chris Widener

 

Representative Chris Widener

 

Fairborn Mayor Tom Nagal

 

Fairborn City Manager Michael Cornell

 

Xenia Mayor Phyllis Pennewitt

 

Yellow Springs Village Mayor David Foubert

 

Yellow Springs Village Manager Eric Swansen

 

Miami Township Trustees

 

Xenia Township Trustees

 

 

Florida Legislators

 

Senator Bill Nelson

 

            Senator Mel Martinez

 

Congresswoman Katherine Harris

 

Congressman Jim Davis

 

            Governor Jeb Bush

 

            Senator Mike Bennett

 

            Representative Ron Reagam

 

            Representative Bill Galvano

 

 

            Michigan Legislators

 

Senator Carl Levin

 

            Senator Debbie A. Stabenow

 

            Congressman

 

            Governor Jennifer M. Granholm

 

            Senator

 

            Rep

 

 

            Other

 

 Francisco Garza, CEMEX CEO

 

Stephen L. Johnson, Administrator, USEPA

 

Granta Nakayama, Asst. Administrator, USEPA Office of Compliance & Enforcement

 

Joe McClash, Chairman, Mantee Board of County Commission