CEMEX and California Clean-water advocacy groups reach agreement

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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, CEMEX will upgrade Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater at plants in Irvine, Fontana and Compton. CEMEX also agreed to enhance water-testing protocols beyond current testing requirements.

“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, CEMEX USA 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 BMPSs at each facility.

“We’re proud of CEMEX for its 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, CEMEX will protect our swimmable waters while lowering its water use in the process.”

CEMEX 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 and 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 Oct. 15.

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