US: The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners has approved the proposal by St Marys Cement to expand its cement plant in Michigan State. St Marys Cement, part of Votorantim Group, is planning a US$130m upgrade to the Charlevoix plant, which would increase its production capacity from 1.3Mt/yr to nearly 2Mt/yr.
According to local press reports, in a 5:1 vote that followed the hearing, the county board approved the upgrade plan. Commissioner George Lasater provided the lone vote in opposition. He said that he simply wanted to do more research on the proposal. Other commissioners described their votes in support as important to sustaining the economy in Charlevoix County.
The proposal now moves to the state Department of Environmental Quality for final approval. If the Charlevoix plans were rejected, St Marys officials have said they will seek to reopen the Illinois plant.