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Mon, Sept. 23

EPA regulations will cost money, not jobs in Peach Springs

PEACH SPRINGS - It will cost about $1 million to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements, but no layoffs or shutdowns are currently planned at Chemical Lime Company Nelson Plant to implement new air pollution controls improving visibility at the Grand Canyon.

The company, which has 94 employees, creates lime by digging limestone out of a quarry, crushing it, sizing it and running it through two industrial kilns.

The company is owned by Lhoist North America, which purchased it in 1986 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

"Lhoist North America is committed to being a good steward of our natural resources," said Kenneth Curtiss, Lhoist vice president and general counsel. "We strive to meet community expectations by reducing our environmental footprint and supporting long-term responsible development.

"Under the proposed rule recently published by the U.S. EPA, Lhoist North America will make additional capital investments and incur additional operating expenses at our Nelson Plant in support of that commitment."

The EPA rule requires the company to make capital improvements at the plant's two kilns. It proposes a 50 percent reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions through the use of a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction system. SNCR is a technique that injects ammonia or urea into the lime to reduce exhaust gases.

It will cost $450,000 per kiln to implement. Because there are few examples of the technique being used at lime plants, the EPA is giving the company three years to design, install and test the system.

The EPA also is proposing a 23 percent reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions through the use of a lower sulfur fuel blend in both kilns. This will result in higher operating costs for the company, but does not call for increased capital investment.

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