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DEC says Holcim can't burn tires at Ravena cement plant

May 06, 2021 6:33 am

Rick Karlin reports for the Times Union that New York's Department of Environmental Conservation said May 5 that the Holcim LaFarge cement plant in Ravena is not allowed to burn tires in its kiln. “We are modifying this facility’s Title V air permit to remove the authorization to burn tire-derived fuel, or TDF. The LaFarge facility currently lacks the infrastructure to burn TDF, and has not, nor has it ever, completed the steps necessary to burn tires pursuant to this permit,” the DEC said in a prepared statement. It is unclear if the international company will appeal the decision, or add the proper infrastructure to burn tires. “We received the DEC’s correspondence this afternoon and are reviewing it. We will be weighing all available options,” said spokesperson Jocelyn Gerst. Environmental activists were happy with the announcement. "This is good news for people in the Capital District who want to breathe clean air,” said Judith Enck, a former EPA regional administrator who mentioned that the cement plant is across the street from the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk school complex. Holcim has been planning to burn tires in southern Albany County since at least 2017, records show. The Town of Coeymans passed a law against tire burning but in 2020 a new administration headed by current Supervisor George McHugh was voted into office and weakened the rules. Christine Primomo, a local environmentalist wondered if LaFarge was planning to burn municipal garbage in their kiln. “This is a start,” Primomo said of the decision. “It’s taken all these years.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.