A pollution disaster in the making

Dear Editor:

I am strongly, even vehemently, opposed to the Hughes Bros. Inc. cement plant proposed for installation in Ellsworth on the Bucksport Road. Cement manufacturing is widely known as the third leading industrial source of pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the “health and environmental effects of cement plant emissions are a significant source of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide,” which are associated with several 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, global warming, 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.

This plant would be situated approximately 3 miles from the center of Ellsworth! Please do not allow another source of air pollution that has been known to cause respiratory illnesses into our state. Ask any health-care practitioner near the town of Thomaston about the health effects of the Dragon Cement plant on people in the area. Consider also the truck noise, congestion and pollution as they travel east through Ellsworth on Route 1. Please say no to corporate profit and yes to the environment this time.

Nancy Lowry


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