Brian Nearing in the Albany Times-Union
reports that the Lafarge
cement plant in Ravena in southern Albany County got a $100,000 state fine for polluting a stream that feeds the Hudson River last week from state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The Lafarge plant on Route 9W spilled 1,500 gallons of sulfuric acid on July 1, sparking an investigation. In all, Lafarge admitted to 50 violations of federal water pollution rules, according to an agreement signed Dec. 12 by DEC Regional Director Keith Goertz and Plant Manager Mike Kralik. "Waiting three years for enforcement action is far from ideal," said Phillip Musegaas, director of the the advocacy group Riverkeeper's Hudson River program. "This appears to be a systemic record of continual violations, which suggests this facility has not been operating in compliance with its permits." The DEC now requires Lafarge:
• Repair and replace the pipes that collect liquids from the landfill, and finish a new system to control alkalinity and remove mercury, a toxic heavy metal;
• Create a "draft preventive maintenance program" for landfill fluid collection, stormwater, acid storage and pumping stations that control fluid movement;
• Report on the "total amount" of sulfuric acid that was stored in the tank that leaked, how much was recovered and later stored temporarily at the plant, how much was later shipped elsewhere and "any remaining unaccounted for sulfuric acid." Read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.