Local citizens protest cement plant

An occupational health physician, a Sierra Club official and a handful of citizens are questioning the environmental impact of Rio Grande Portland Cement’s proposed plant in Pueblo County.

The citizen group, Citizens for Clean Air for Pueblo, has been working with the local Sierra Club since December 1998 to evaluate environmental impact findings that have been reviewed by various local and state agencies. The dispute involves factors ranging from the average daily vehicle traffic generated by the facility to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s minimum quality air standards as they apply to the new plant’s operations.

“Considering the fact that Puebloans and Colorado Springs residents will have to put up with the increased heavy traffic, and Pueblans within a 20-mile radius will certainly have to accept lower air quality and destruction of 6,000 acres of unspoiled prairie land, while profits go to plant owners in Mexico, we need to ask whether the cost in quality of life is ultimately good for business development in Pueblo,” said Margaret Barber, chairman of CCAP.

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