Residents worry about emissions in cement plant upgrade, US

Residents worry about emissions in cement plant upgrade, US
Published: 30 October 2008

Residents aired their concerns about emissions coming from the Lafarge Cement plant in Ravena, the biggest mercury polluter in the State. Now the company wants to replace its wet manufacturing process at its 1960’s plant with a dry one.

"We’re going to have a much more energy efficient plant that is much more environmentally friendly," said Lafarge’s Environment Manager John Reagan.

The public has the chance to weigh in, by telling the state Department of Environmental Conservation what to make sure is on the table when the environmental impact study is done on the plan. And no one is mincing words.

"We’re not here to put you out of business we’re not trying to do that. But we want to insure protection for our community," said resident John Vadney, who is also an RCS school board member.

The DEC said the company isn’t breaking any emissions rules now, because there aren’t federal limits for mercury at existing cement plants. But the new plant would be subject to state limits. A DEC spokesman said the public will be informed through the process.

"There will be no closed doors. There will be no closed meetings. Everything will be available for the public to consider long before we reach any decision," said the DEC’s Gene Kelly.