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Cohoes mayor blasts Norlite for denying the impact of the dust from its facility

Mar 06, 2022 12:30 am

Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union Cohoes Mayor William Keeler is blasting the Norlite aggregate plant and hazardous waste incinerator for a letter the company released claiming that the neighboring Saratoga Sites housing complex was not being evacuated because of dust from the facility. “That’s completely not true,” Keeler said March 4, referring to Norlite's denial that people were being moved from the complex due to dust. Residents of the complex have for some time complained of dust blowing from the rock and slag piles at Norlite, where shale is processed into aggregate for use in road building and construction. “The residents are not being moved because of the presence nearby of our Norlite facility,” reads part of the letter, dubbed “We Hear You, Cohoes, and We’d Like to Invest.” The letter can be found at NorliteCommunity [dot] com. The company is looking to purchase the housing complex, after the residents move out, and then turn it into a “research facility to investigate new ways to reduce the creation of waste and to safely dispose of it.” Keeler, in an email to the head of Tradebe, the Spanish firm that owns Norlite, said the Saratoga Sites complex is being emptied precisely because of the dust from Norlite and its potential health threats. Keeler wrote, “I assure you, the only reason I have been advocating for the relocation of 70 families from their homes in Saratoga Sites is because of Norlite’s uncontrolled fugitive dust, and chronic violations of regulations governing the company’s incineration of hazardous waste adjacent to this much-needed housing.” The Cohoes Housing Authority is currently moving to relocate the families who live in the apartment complex. Once that process is complete, the Housing Authority is looking to sell the land to the city. Keeler said he does not want to see Norlite closed down, and he did not totally dismiss the idea of selling the land to Norlite, but only if it can operate within regulations. Read more in the Times Union.