The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has accepted the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) from the Lafarge Cement plant in Ravena as complete. The application marks the end of one step in the years-long effort to modernise the cement plant’s operation and raise its production capacity from around 1.7Mta to 2.8Mta.
The FEIS includes the Title Five Air permit and State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits. Lafarge Environmental Manager John Reagan said the permits include modifications to the existing permits for the two wet kilns as well as conditions for the proposed replacement dry kiln.
According Reagan, following a “mandatory 10-day waiting period” the DEC can issue their Findings Statement and Lafarge aims to receive permits for the modernisation project construction, which could start as early as autumn 2011 with ground preparation, grading and drainage.
The new cement-making technology will be more energy efficient, the DEC said. The dry kiln with its 525ft preheater/precalciner tower and grinding mill upgrades will decrease electrical demand and greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of clinker produced. In addition, the plant will emit significantly lower mercury levels.
The modernisation represents an investment of more than US$300m and will bring in hundreds of temporary construction jobs as well as maintaining the current workforce of roughly 180.
During construction the two old kilns will continue operating and will not shut down until the new one is up-and-running sometime in 2014.