Adam Sichko in the Albany Business Review reports
New York state regulators have cleared Lafarge
North America Inc. to modernize its aging cement plant
in Ravena. Permits have been issued after months of review, draft reports and public comment periods, all conducted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC announced the permits on Thursday. Lafarge says up to 800 workers wil be involved in the construction there, costing a few hundred million dollars. John Reagan, environmental manager for the Ravena plant, told the Business Review he expects Lafarge to break ground this fall. Lafarge calculates the construction project will generate $170 million in wages for construction workers, purchases from local supplies, and other spending. "Environmental watchdog groups and other interest groups have criticized Lafarge’s pollution in the past. Federal data show Lafarge had the fifth-largest mercury emissions of any site in New York in 2009, in any industry," Sichko writes. and then quotes New York DEC commissioner Joseph Martens saying, “Lafarge has demonstrated its commitment to some of the most rigorous environmental standards in the country. In addition, this new facility will ensure a continued local supply of a critical building material.” Read the full story in the Business Review.