The CEMEX cement plant in Lyons has been subject of numerous complaints and lawsuits about air pollution. In 2013 the plant agreed to operate advanced pollution controls at its plant in Lyons and paid a $1 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. That settlement followed a 2008 lawsuit brought by Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action and WildEarth Guardians against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over its failure to overturn a state-issued air-pollution permit for the aging cement plant.
Despite the 2013 settlement and modifications made to the plant, residents in the vicinity continue to complain about dust containing crystalline silica emanating from the site. The plant’s permit to quarry limestone from Dowe Flats will expire in 2021 and it is unclear what the plant’s plans are past that date. On Monday February 4th at 5.30pm, representatives of CEMEX will make a presentation to the Lyons Board of Trustees unveiling their plans for the future of the site.
Amanda Dumenigo and other members of Save our St. Vrain Valley (SOSVV) who have been organizing to stop gravel pit mining in that area, are asking people to come to the meeting to find out the plans for the CEMEX plant and have their voices heard. “Members of our steering committee met with public relations representatives for CEMEX and they told us that they plan to stay operational, but not any other detail, not exactly what that means.”
Dumenigo says that there are so many people moving to the Lyons/Hygiene area who don’t know the history of the cement plant and she says it is imperative that people understand the impact of the CEMEX plant continuing to operate in the region.
“What’s at stake now with CEMEX’s recent revelation that they plan to stay operational and the Martin Marietta project (gravel pit mining) which is still pending, then it would be essentially the complete industrialization of Northern Boulder County. This is going to set the precedents for the next couple of hundred years.”
SOSVV produced a video on the history of the Lyons CEMEX plant: