Cement Plant To Receive Aquifer Protection Permit

Phoenix Cement Company is anticipating a draft permit within the next few weeks from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality that will allow the cement manufacturing facility to close and replace outdated components of the plant.

Called an Aquifer Protection Permit (APP), the language in the draft will outline methods and timelines for completing closures of water-related equipment and discharge systems. It will also include construction and operating parameters for a new lined storm water basin. The basin will receive storm water runoff from the areas in the plant used for coal, coke, and mill scale storage.

The recent $126.5 million modernization of the plant in Clarkdale included an aggressive water conservation program and equipment that utilizes water more efficiently, making some of the older systems unnecessary. Since the completion of the modernization project, additional plans, techniques, and equipment have been discussed and will be implemented soon.

The APP will provide guidelines for decommissioning and removing the old equipment and closing storage areas that are subject to aquifer protection regulations in the state of Arizona.

Water used for cooling motors, machinery, and material in many areas of the plant was formerly discharged after one use. The installation of additional cooling towers and closed-loop systems allows the water to be re-circulated and used more efficiently many times over, ultimately allowing the water to be used for dust suppression on plant roads.

Phoenix Cement Company and its owners, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, are proud to have voluntarily added these safeguards of our environment into the modernization plan, and pleased that the Department of Environmental Quality is acting on the application that the company filed for the Aquifer Protection Permit so that the outdated equipment can be removed, and replaced where applicable.

The merger between Phoenix Cement Company and Salt River Sand & Rock to form Salt River Materials Group is still in process. The permit will be for Phoenix Cement Company, since that is the legal entity that filed the permit application and is still operating the plant. ADEQ will publish a draft of Phoenix Cement’s permit in the coming weeks, which will initiate a 30-day comment period.

For further information regarding activities of Phoenix Cement, contact Gregg St. Clair, cement operations manager, in Clarkdale at 634-2261, ext. 8077, or Verle Martz, director of environmental affairs, in Scottsdale at 480-850-5757.

Phoenix Cement Company manufactures portland cement at its Clarkdale facility, processes and delivers coal combustion products for use in concrete and other applications from four power plants in northern Arizona and New Mexico, and mines gypsum near Camp Verde for use in the making of cement and for agricultural purposes.

Phoenix Cement Company is one of Arizona’s leading manufacturers of portland cement and other building products. Founded in 1959 by the American Cement Corporation to supply materials for the development of Glen Canyon Dam, Phoenix Cement serves markets throughout Arizona as well as Colorado, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Phoenix Cement Company has been owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community since 1987.

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