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Know more in 60 seconds - Essroc's plans for Martinsburg plant

October 22, 2006

The issue: Essroc, which purchased the former Capitol Cement Corp. in 2002, submitted a $320 million plan to revamp and expand its operations. The plan will enable cement production to be increased from 2,300 to 6,000 tons per day.

What will happen as a result of the plan? Essroc's plan to increase production will result in less emissions of tiny particles and ozone-causing gases, but certain other pollutants generated are expected to increase.

A 435-foot "preheat" tower that will serve a new kiln will dilute and more greatly disperse emitted particulate matter and other pollutants, according to an engineer with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air Quality.

Another issue was the proposed tower's effect on flight patterns at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport. Airport officials will institute restrictions on circling north of the airport to accommodate the plant's tower, which is less than two miles away.

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Essroc's plan was approved by the state in June 2005, and a preliminary site plan was approved last week by the Berkeley County Planning Commission.

What's next: Essroc hopes to have the new kiln ready by 2008. Demolition of buildings, enclosure of raw material piles and paving of all plant roads also will occur, according to the plan.

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