St. Lawrence Cement Group Inc. has been engaged for the past several years in the process of obtaining the necessary permits for a replacement cement plant in Greenport, N.Y. The company announced that it welcomed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner’s second interim decision to adjudicate issues such as air, visual, aesthetics and riverine habitat.
"St. Lawrence Cement believes that, due to the new design of the replacement plant, the DEC commissioner’s decision is appropriate," said David Loomes, general manager of the Greenport replacement project. "In the adjudicatory hearings we know we will be able to address all concerns regarding these issues, and once addressed, the permitting process can move forward more rapidly. This new design and the entire replacement project are based on sound science and engineering that will protect the environment. This will become evident as the process unfolds."
Mr. Loomes added: "We believe this decision will help move the process forward in a positive manner. The adjudicatory hearings, in which all testimony is taken under oath and then cross-examined, will serve to reinforce St. Lawrence Cement’s position on the environmental benefits of the replacement project."
St. Lawrence Cement also acknowledged the DEC commissioner’s decision to ungrandfather its mine in the town of Greenport for purposes of the review of the Greenport replacement project. In light of the new design of its replacement plant, St. Lawrence Cement has no plans to appeal the ungrandfathering decision at this time.
Recently, St. Lawrence Cement unveiled a new design for the Greenport replacement plant that reduces the height of the plant by 115 feet; now, over 90 per cent of the surrounding area won’t be able to see the plant at all. The Greenport replacement project will continue to result in substantial reductions of critical emissions, such as a 95-per-cent reduction in lead and mercury and an 85-per-cent reduction in sulphur dioxide.
The Greenport replacement project will have a major, positive economic impact for the region, by retaining vital cement jobs for decades to come, creating over 1,500 construction jobs and generating at least $800,000 in local tax revenue once operational.