CEMEX, California clean water advocacy groups reach agreement
'CEMEX strives to be a good neighbor in the communities in which we live and operate, and this agreement continues that commitment in Southern California'
Worker managing concrete washout water. Courtesy CEMEX
Compton will benefit from CEMEX plan to upgrade stormwater management
LOS ANGELES — CEMEX USA and clean-water advocacy groups Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Orange County Coastkeeper, and its chapter Inland Empire Waterkeeper have agreed on a plan to enhance stormwater management from three of CEMEX’s ready-mix plants in Southern California to resolve an ongoing dispute regarding the Clean Water Act.
Under the agreement, the company will upgrade Best Management Practices for stormwater at plants in Irvine (Orange County), Fontana (San Bernardino County) and Compton (Los Angeles County).
CEMEX is a global building materials company providing high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries, also agreed to enhance water-testing protocols beyond current testing requirements.
Its U.S. network includes 11 cement plants, more than 50 strategically located distribution terminals, 50 aggregate quarries and nearly 270 ready-mix concrete plants.
“CEMEX strives to be a good neighbor in the communities in which we live and operate, and this agreement continues that commitment in Southern California,” said Eric Wittmann, U.S. regional president, West Region.
Orange County Coastkeeper and Los Angeles Waterkeeper filed a complaint in early 2017 claiming stormwater from three CEMEX facilities raised pH and metal levels in nearby waterways, violating the Clean Water Act. CEMEX refuted the claims. The recently approved agreement reflects a compromise with the organizations with increased BMPs at each facility.
“We’re proud of [our] commitment to improving the waters that our families and wildlife depend on,” said Colin Kelly, senior staff attorney at Coastkeeper. “By capturing and reusing its stormwater, we will protect our swimmable waters while lowering its water use in the process.”
The ready-mix concrete company will contribute $55,000 to identify and fund future environmental-mitigation projects through third-party groups Rivers and Lands Conservancy (Inland Empire), Pacific Marine Mammal Center (Orange County) and From Lot to Spot (Los Angeles County).
“We ensure that all our greenspace projects are multi-benefit projects that not only impact the community but also have social, health & wellness and environmental impacts,” said Viviana Franco, founder and executive director of From Lot to Spot.
Following Coastkeeper’s legal work, CEMEX is one of four large ready-mix concrete companies that have updated their practices and infrastructure in the last two years to comply with clean water regulations.
CEMEX is expected to complete its facility upgrades by October 15, 2018.