Saturday, September 1, 2007
Read about CEMEX, a global cement manufacturer, on the Web at: www.cemex.com The site has links to CEMEX's 2006 Sustainable Development Report and the "CEMEX Cares" initiative, which emphasizes environmental stewardship efforts.
For more information on the Colorado Citizens Campaign, which says CEMEX pollutants are damaging environmentally sensitive areas such as Rocky Mountain National Park, call (303) 863-8168 or visit coloradocitizens.org.
Steamboat Springs As members of the Colorado Citizens Campaign canvass Steamboat Springs to drum up opposition to CEMEX, a global cement manufacturer with a plant in Lyons, a CEMEX official Friday questioned why the group is taking action far from the Front Range.
Suzi Zakowski, program director for the Denver-based Citizens Campaign, said the organization is asking individuals and businesses to write letters to a CEMEX administrator, asking for reduced emissions from the Lyons plant.
Zakowski said the Lyons plant is particularly harmful to Front Range residents and Rocky Mountain National Park.
"The park is starting to see irreversible damage to ecosystems," Zakowski said.
About 20 members of the Citizens Campaign arrived in Steamboat on Thursday. The group plans to canvass in Routt County through Sunday.
A CEMEX spokeswoman Friday denied the organization's claims, saying that CEMEX is in compliance with - and operating well within - permitted emission limits set by state and federal entities. CEMEX also questioned tactics used by the Citizens Campaign.
"One should really question why the Denver-based group is canvassing the residential neighborhoods of Steamboat Springs," CEMEX spokeswoman Jennifer Borgen said. "What is the real goal of their door-to-door campaign in a community nearly 200 miles from our facility? Unfortunately, they are continuing to spread misinformation about CEMEX people and our operations in Lyons, while asking for funding donations to support their Denver organization."
Zakowski said dust from the Lyons plant has been shown to contain high levels of mercury and lead, and that haze created by the plant obstructs views in areas including Rocky Mountain National Park. She said the Colorado Citizens Campaign has been focusing on CEMEX since 2006 and wants to see the company take steps such as installing new scrubbers in its smoke stacks.
"We're at a point when we need some really solid outcomes," Zakowski said.
Even though Steamboat isn't directly affected by CEMEX, Zakowski said people who live in mountain towns can relate to sensitive ecosystems.
Zakowski said CEMEX has been cooperative with the Citizens Campaign. She said CEMEX has made changes including paving gravel roads and constructing a truck wash to cut down on dust.
Borgen mentioned these and several other improvements during the past year, and said CEMEX has additional environmental upgrades planned for both the immediate and long-term future.
Cement is a primary ingredient of concrete. While the construction industry across Colorado has struggled with concrete shortages for several years, a recent report indicates the supply may be rising.
"The shortage of concrete has ended and is no longer a serious concern," states the 2007 Business Economic Outlook prepared at the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business.
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