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State Set to Issue Cement Plant Permit

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Within several days, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources could issue its final permit to the Holcim company for a cement plant in Ste. Genevieve County.

The Swiss firm wants to build what would be the largest such facility in the United States.

Environmentalists say nitrogen oxide from the plant will hurt air quality in the St. Louis area, but Holcim spokeswoman Nancy Tully says the facility will use an advanced pollution control system called Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction.

"We will be using this throughout the year," Tully said. "It is not something that's experimental we're going to try once and say it didn't work. This is in our permit. We are going to use SNCR."

However, Sierra Club member Cheryl Hammond says any positive economic impact from the plant could be for naught.

"Jobs are important for that area, but it's only going to be about 200 jobs, and those 200 jobs could easily be offset by the losses St. Louis County, St. Charles County and so on by a degraded air quality," Hammond said.

Company official hope to break ground in mid-2005, but they expect lawsuits after the permit is issued.

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