The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has released its findings for the Public Comment Draft Phase One Report in its evaluation of the impact of the Lafarge Cement Plant emissions on community health. Sparked by concerns expressed by CASE (Community Advocates for Safe Emissions), the DOH, in conjunction with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is conducting a public health assessment on communities potentially impacted by the plant to evaluate whether the chemicals released are harmful. Phase one, the health consultation, summarizes "all available environmental data and information about the cement plant over its 48 years of operation and completion of an exposure evaluation." It also addresses residents’ concerns and describes the health outcome data available from surrounding communities.
Phase two, the public health assessment will include evaluation of possible exposures to chemicals from the cement plant through the pathways identified in the health consultation. According to Jan Storm of the DOH, it will also "assess the likelihood that exposures described in the Phase One report might harm community health. Based on conclusions reached during Phase Two, further study and/or actions to prevent or mitigate health effects might be recommended."