Standard Permit for Concrete Batch Plants: Learning More
- What is a concrete batch plant?
- What will this permit do?
- Who is applying?
- What else can I learn about the applicant?
- How can I learn what other people think about this?
- What if I have more questions?
What is a concrete batch plant?
First of all, a concrete batch plant is not a cement kiln. People often confuse one for the other.
A concrete batch plant adds measured amounts of sand, cement, and gravel to a large mixing drum to prepare concrete mix. This mix is much like the bagged concrete you can buy at any home improvement store.
There are two types of authorizations for a concrete batch plant:
- Plants producing large amounts of concrete are authorized by New Source Review (NSR) permits.
- Plants producing smaller amounts are authorized by a Standard Permit or a Standard Permit with Enhanced Controls. These permits limit the size and operation of the concrete batch plant.
We receive the most questions about smaller plants authorized under the Standard Permit. For these plants, the concrete mix is usually fed with water into a concrete truck. The truck finishes mixing the wet concrete on its way to a construction site.
These plants have:
- One or more silos to hold the cement—and sometimes a silo for cement supplement, too.
- A large drum raised high in the air. These drums usually look like a big square funnel on stilts, high enough for a concrete truck to park beneath it.
- Piles of sand and gravel.
- Conveyors to feed the cement, sand, and gravel to their silos or to the mixing drum.
- Roads on the property for the concrete trucks—and for the trucks that deliver the sand, gravel, and cement, too.
The silos are the tallest part—sometimes as tall as 40 feet.
With the roads, structures, and piles of sand and gravel, the whole plant would fit on about five residential lots. But this size can vary.
What will this permit do?
The cement used in a concrete batch plant is naturally dusty. When the raw materials are delivered and when they are mixed, there is a chance that blowing dust can be a nuisance. To limit this nuisance, we developed specific requirements for concrete batch plants to follow under this Standard Permit.
Whenever there is dust, we are also concerned about very small forms of dust—particles small enough to get past our body’s protections and into our airways and lungs. Even though very little of the dust from cement is that small, the measures called for by this Standard Permit also prevent this smaller dust from blowing off the property.
The Standard Permit requires the plant operators to control dust these ways:
- Keep the cement in completely enclosed silos.
- Keep the mixing equipment, stockpiles, and silos away from the property lines.
- Add cartridge or bag filters to the silos, so the air that is pushed out when they are filled doesn’t carry dust with it.
- Enclose the cement conveyor belts, so dust doesn’t blow away as the cement is moved to the silos or mixing drum.
- Use filters called baghouses where the concrete is mixed and where it is dropped into the trucks. Like large vacuum cleaners, these filters suck the dust out of the air before it can blow away.
- Spray down the plant roads and stockpiles.
- Take other measures when needed to minimize dust from other sources.
By obtaining this permit, the owners and operators of the concrete batch plant agree to follow its requirements.
Concrete batch plants might be noisy or increase traffic. We do not have jurisdiction to consider these nuisances when approving a permit. If you are concerned about these issues, contact your city, county, or other local authority.
Who is applying?
When you see a public notice about a permit application, look at the first paragraph to find the name of the applicant.
If you do not see the notice published in a newspaper, you can find public notices on our website:
- Search for public notices, plus more status information about the application
- Search for public notices only
What else can I learn about the applicant?
You can learn about this applicant and their plans by contacting them directly. The last paragraph in the public notice will tell you how to contact the applicant.
We also have ways you can learn about this applicant's history with us — for example:
- Other facilities they have permits for
- Other businesses they are related to
- Their environmental track record
How can I learn what other people think about this?
On our website you can search for information about comments others have made about this application. Under Step Three be sure to choose "Include all correspondence...".
What if I have more questions?
Our Public Education Program can help you find the status of applications and tell you more about our permitting processes.
- Call PEP at 800-687-4040
- Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org