Lehigh Answers Query

Letters to the editor

May 05, 1991

From: David Roush

Plant Manager

Lehigh Portland Cement Co.

Some area residents would have you believe that Lehigh Portland Cement Co. is a corporate giant that cares nothing about our community.

They choose to ignore the scientific facts involving recycling of wastes that have fuel value. They areblind to the positive impact of our plant, the hundreds of jobs we create, the people who make up the plant, and the benefits we provide to the community by taxes and charitable contributions.

They are also blind to the vital role cement plays in the American constructionindustry and our way of life. It is time to set the record straight as to Lehigh's proposed program for recycling non-hazardous and hazardous wastes. It is time for our community to hear the facts.

Fact:Lehigh has been burning non-hazardous waste fuel, by permit, in its cement kilns for over four years. Lehigh has applied for a permit to burn additional non-hazardous carbon-based fuels.

The company has also made an application to burn hazardous wastes as a supplemental fuel to be consumed within the 3,000-degree F. temperatures of its cement kilns.

Fact: These actions will allow the Union Bridge plant to remain competitive with other cement plants across the country and with imports. Many plants in the United States have already realized significant fuel savings by utilizing this waste-fuel technology.

Lehigh also wants to avail itself of this technology so as to increase plant efficiency and protect jobs at Union Bridge.

Fact: A cement kiln is the safest environment for the destruction of these wastes.The 3,000-degree kiln temperature causes these chemical compounds to break down into their harmless base elements. The process is far safer than reliance on landfills or less-efficient incinerators for thedisposal of these wastes.

Fact: Destruction of hazardous wastes is closely regulated by federal and state agencies. Regulations specify that a minimum of 99.99 percent of these compounds must be destroyed in this process.

Shipment of these materials are also closely regulated and the contents are carefully monitored. Hazardous-waste fuels are not injected into the kiln as supplemental fuel unless it is already burning at full efficiency. They are not injected during kiln start-up or shutdown procedures. This guarantees full compliance withenvironmental requirements.

Fact: Many so-called "experts" on this topics are unqualified. Some misinterpret scientific facts, or their sympathy lies with the incinerator industry.

The incinerator industry knows that cement kilns are the safest way to destroy these compounds because of the extremely high temperatures and long kiln retention time. They are afraid of the economic competition and they have undertaken propaganda campaigns to fight the cement industry on this issue.

Fact: Lehigh has been a good neighbor in this community foralmost a century. We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and we have a good record of compliance over the years.

Our employees and their families also live in this community. If we were notconfident of the safety of this technology, we would not propose this course of action.

We will continue to pursue our program of keeping our plant competitive in an environmentally safe manner. We will continue to present the facts in the face of emotional misinformation.


From: Dwight Dingle


To: Carroll County Commissioners

As a business person in the community, and the immediate past president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, I am well aware of the severe economic situation facing not only businesses but county government.

I am writing to you, however, to relay my concerns regarding the status of the county support for Carroll Community College.

Through foresight and planning, Carroll Community College has become a valuable resource to the citizens and businesses of the county. It has played an ever-increasing role in meeting the county's expanding needs in higher education as well as training and development.

The residents of Carroll County have been extremely fortunate to enjoy the multitude of resources that the college provides.

Further reduction in county funding will undoubtedly have a severe negative impact on the necessary services the college provides. I am aware you are in possession of a wealth of facts and figures that support the overwhelming budget needs of CCC just to maintain present services.

Carroll Community College is providing an absolutely necessary service to the citizens and businesses of the county.

As the county continues to grow and develop, the role the college will play in education, training and development must keep pace. Please consider this letter as an earnest plea to fund the budget requests of the college.

From: County Commissioners

To: Dwight Dingle


The board has received your recent correspondence concerning the appropriation of county funding in fiscal year 1992for the Carroll Community College.

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