LafargeHolcim reaches settlement with state
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Holcim Inc. and the state of New York have reached an agreement resolving alleged environmental violations at the company’s cement plant on Route 9W in Ravena. The company is accused of discharging untreated and partially treated contaminated water and stormwater into Coeymans Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River. The discharged water exceeded pollution control permit limits, including aluminum, toxicity, oil and grease, state Attorney General Letitia James said. The settlement requires the company to pay an $850,000 civil penalty — half of that sum will go to the state and includes $212,000 in seed money for a local green stormwater infrastructure project at Coeymans Landing Park to reduce pollution in the Hudson River, according to a statement released by James. The company will also be required to implement updated water pollution best practices, submit a revised solid waste management facility permit to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and conduct a third-party audit of its water pollution and solid waste compliance at the facility. Holcim was cited more than 260 times for exceeding permitted discharges between April 2015 and March 2019. Compliance improved later in 2019 and through 2020, James said. LafargeHolcim spokeswoman Jocelyn Gerst said the company is taking steps to address the issues. Republican Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh thanked the state for reaching the settlement agreement. “Their work has resulted in a cleaner, more effective operation at LafargeHolcim, and new protections for air and water resources relied on by everyone in Coeymans,” he said. Democrat Cindy Rowzee, McHugh's challenger for town supervisor in November, said the settlement does not go far enough. “While we are grateful to DEC for holding Lafarge accountable, some residents have shared with us their concerns that the penalty does not go far enough to protect the community,” Rowzee said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.