Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (March 9, 2005) -- The Lehigh Cement Company and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) today announce an agreement to settle violations of air quality standards at Lehigh’s Union Bridge Plant in Carroll County. Lehigh also will pay a $90,000 penalty for the violations.

“This agreement will reduce air emissions resulting in cleaner air for Union Bridge, Carroll County and Maryland citizens by reducing dust and particulate matter emissions from plant operations,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “We are very pleased that Lehigh came to the table and agreed to implement needed enhancements.”

The agreement addresses a number of air pollution concerns at the Union Bridge plant. In 2004, MDE received 26 complaints from citizens in reference to cement dust on their property and other visible nuisance emissions originating from the site. MDE subsequently issued seven notices of violation for opacity, temperature limits, dust fallout and monitoring violations ranging from mid-August until early December 2004.

A number of measures will be taken by the company to reduce air pollution. In the agreement, Lehigh agrees to take both short-term and long-term measures to reduce air emissions including enclosure of plant buildings, paving of roads, repairs and upgrades to dust control systems and other improvements. The firm has already implemented limiting the use of its craneway. Among other measures included in the consent decree are: installation of a truck water wash system, a vacuum cleaning system to remove dust from trucks and railway cars and improvements to the company’s cement silo loading system.

MDE will closely monitor Lehigh’s actions to ensure completion of the corrective actions required by the agreement. The consent decree was filed in Carroll County Circuit Court. Once a Circuit Court judge signs the order the settlement will take effect. The settlement also allows for a $2,500 weekly penalty if the company does not adhere to conditions of the decree.