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Hagerstown cement plant at odds with state and feds

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown cement plant targeted by federal regulators for alleged air pollution says it’s been trying for nearly three years to get a state permit for its increased sulfur dioxide emissions.

An attorney for the Holcim cement plant and previous owner St. Lawrence Cement said Tuesday that the company is awaiting a response from the Maryland Department of the Environment to its 2008 permit application.

A department spokesman tells The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown newspaper that the application is incomplete.

The company lawyer acknowledges that the plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions increased in 2003 after it started firing a cement kiln with old tires to reduce emissions of another pollutant, nitrogen oxide.

The EPA alleges the plant is illegally emitting more than 100 tons a year of pollutants including sulfur dioxide.

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