US government fines Puerto Rico cement companies

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — U.S. officials say two cement companies in Puerto Rico will donate a $2.3 million plot of land for conservation as part of an agreement to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that Cemex Concretos Inc. and Cemex de Puerto Rico Inc. also will pay a $360,000 penalty and spend an estimated $1.8 million to bring their facilities into compliance.

The EPA accused the companies of violating the Clean Water Act at nearly all their cement-mixing facilities across the U.S. territory.

The companies also are required to appoint an environmental director and coordinator to ensure compliance with the act.

The EPA says the more than 400 acres (162 hectares) being donated are in Puerto Rico’s northern Karst region.

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