Mercury & Cement Kilns
When it comes to an industry being scrutinized by environmental and regulatory groups, knowledge really is power. Just as the cement industry is currently in the environmental cross-hairs, we've seen the same thing in a number of other industries over the last several decades.
An example of this is the Wastewater business. A few years back, the wastewater industry was believed to be one of the largest environmental point source polluters of mercury. Based on bad information from outdated sampling and analysis techniques the industry was prepared for the worst. Upon further analysis using ultra-clean low level analysis we were able to show the wastewater industry was much cleaner than originally anticipated.
The outcome was very positive. Regulators and environmental groups were able to better understand the wastewater industries impact on the environment. The ability to report at extremely low levels (parts per trillion) while understanding interferences (things that get in the way of accurate tests) were pivotal. We believe the cement industry needs to follow the same protocol. This is the time to capture the best information available thus allowing you to make the best decisions possible.
Below is a little excerpt from the EPA regarding this issue...
"EPA is now aware of several studies in which the techniques employed in the above guidance (EPA-1631 and other 1600 series methods) have been applied and have been of great benefit in determining that either an environment problem does not exist or that the magnitude of the problem is considerably less than initially envisioned. Therefore, the added costs associated with the sample handling and quality control protocols contained in the draft guidance are often trivial when compared to the cost saved by avoiding unnecessary pollution controls that might otherwise have been required."
- Water Quality-Based Permitting for Trace Metals, U.S. EPA Fact Sheet, April 1996.
At the end of the day, we all want things to be better and cleaner for the next generation. Let's roll up our sleeves and figure this one out!