With years of citizen opposition and a zoning ordinance looming over them, a cement company has announced it no longer wants a permit to burn hazardous waste in its Montana City cement kiln.
Local environmental groups that
fought the project say it's been a long, hard fight. "They have
been absolute hard-core corporate bulldogs about ramming this
project down the throats of local citizens," says Paul Johnson, of
the local activist organization Montanans for a Healthy Future.
Johnson says the kiln's pollution-control device is "a piece of
junk" and already poses a health hazard because it emits dangerous
The Ash Grove Cement Company's
environmental manager, Joe Scheeler, says the firm is backing out
because of the laborious permitting process, the scarcity of
"quality" hazardous materials to burn, and an impending county
ordinance that would prohibit waste-burning within two miles of an
elementary school. Although Ash Grove has not yet officially
withdrawn its application, Scheeler says the paperwork is just a
formality and the company's plans remain firm.