The Lafarge cement plant is second only to the state’s largest coal-fired power plant in emitting mercury pollution, according to a company study issued Monday to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The study also found that more than half the estimated 146 pounds of mercury a year from the Route 9W plant comes from local limestone used to produce cement.
The report suggests most of the remaining mercury came either from coal used to fuel Lafarge’s two high-temperature cement kilns, or from coal fly ash, a waste product from coal-fired power plants that’s subsequently used as an ingredient in cement.
Mercury emissions, which were estimated from four testing sessions done over the summer and fall, came in at less than half the 400 pounds annually that Lafarge North America reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2004 to 2006. That figure was equivalent to emissions from four of the state’s largest coal-fired power plants combined.
Source: Times Union.