Both Lehigh Cement Company LLC and Argos USA LLC agreed to pay $1,505,309 to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations in regards to a Portland Cement Manufacturing Facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
According to the U.S. Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA), the violations occurred between 2013 and 2016, spanning the change of ownership from Lehigh to Argos. But for long-time residents of the area, they say they have always had issues with dust build up.
“I mean, I’ve been here for 24 years and the lime has been a problem ever since I’ve been here,” said William James.
The alleged violations include exceeding annual emmission limits for specific particulates, failing to comply with requirements for operating a kiln that is subject to dioxin emissions, having prohibited visible emissions from storage structures, and much more.
However, residents say the dust build up is not as bad as it used to be.
“It was pretty bad. ‘Bout everyday, it was like you know, it was like soots or something like that,” said Howard Carpenter. “You had to wash your car almost, pretty well, everyday, but so far we ain’t have no trouble since they put the dome on over there.”
Whereas some are glad the emissions are not as bad as it used to be, others still do not enjoy it.
“I mean I got a black car,” said Gary Hines. “A lot of dust over in this general area around Texas Street and I have to wash my car like once a week because of it.”