The kiln is notorious for smothering cars and local homes with lime dust emissions, frustrating local residents for more than a decade.
The Department of Environment and Conservation gave the company until June 30 to place a baghouse filter over the kiln. The $18 million filter will operate around the clock, 365 day a year. Homeowners living close to Cockburn Cement said they would not know until summer if the filter had worked.
The wet winter weather means dust is often washed away in regular downpours.
‘It’s good to see they’re listening,’ local lobbyist Chris Steele said.
‘I’m excited to see the bag over kiln five, but we’re going to have to wait until the summer months before we can truly evaluate how good the filter is.
‘My biggest gripe is that it has taken two to three years to put the bags on the kilns. ‘
Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said the community would continue to monitor Cockburn Cement.
‘We all have our fingers crossed that the days of dust are behind us,’ he said.
‘The first six months of 2013 have been hell for residents. But to have the filters on kiln five and six is a fantastic outcome. What we have been able to achieve as a community is remarkable but we will continue to monitor Cockburn Cement because it can never go back to how it was.’
Michael Williams, general operations manager for lime and cement at Adelaide Brighton (a Cockburn Cement sister company), said he was confident the baghouse system would substantially reduce dust emissions.