Letter: What are Impacts of a Concrete Plant?

Monday night’s council agenda included the second reading of a seemingly innocuous Ordinance 827 land sale for a concrete/cement ready mix manufacturing plant in Fairfield.

Even on the second reading, council kept us in the dark as to the details of an ordinance that council members did not ask or even discuss.

Even after I warned in my comments that concrete plants can bring environmental pollution, no one on council commented, asked any questions or appeared concerned. They just raised their hands and moved forward on the sale.

They only have one more vote to go and have not yet revealed where the plant is going to be located, or questioned whether it might have a negative environmental impact.

According to the EPA, cement plants are a significant source of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, which are associated with certain health and environmental impacts.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) can cause or contribute to a variety of health problems and adverse environmental impacts, such as ground-level ozone, acid rain, water quality deterioration, and visual impairment. Affected populations include children, people with lung diseases such as asthma, and exposure to these conditions can cause damage to lung tissue for people who work or exercise outside.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) in high concentrations can affect breathing and may aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Sensitive populations include asthmatics, individuals with bronchitis or emphysema, children, and the elderly. SO2 is also a primary contributor to acid deposition, or acid rain.

Carbon monoxide (CO) can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body’s organs and tissues, as well as adverse effects on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. CO also contributes to the formation of smog (ground-level ozone), which can cause respiratory problems.


Most sources recommend that cement plants should be at least five miles away from residences.

These questions may or may not be pertinent, but they must be asked …and answered, sooner rather than later.

Our citizens deserve a council that looks into the facts before voting.

Randy Bright


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