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Ravena plant EIS releases tomorrow; public hearings start Dec. 8

Nov 23, 2010 9:46 am

RAVENA -- Brian Nearing at the Albany Times Union reports this morning that Lafarge North America has finally filed a completed application with the state Department of Environmental Conservation outlining consequences of its proposed $500 million expansion/renovation project, more than two years after announcing plans to replace its aging cement plant, which is the state's second-largest source of airborne mercury,

A completed draft Environmental Impact Statement will be released on Wednesday, according to a notice also set to be issued Wednesday by the DEC that was obtained by the Times Union.

The EIS release will start a 90-day public comment period that will end Feb. 22. A public information meeting on the plant is set for Dec. 8 at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School, located across the street from the plant. A public hearing is set for Jan. 20 at the high school.

Lafarge announced plans in July 2008 to rebuild its two high-temperature kilns, which have been in place since the plant was built in 1962, with modern, less-polluting versions.

In September, Lafarge received a five-year extension of its federal air pollution permit from the DEC.

The new facility will be able to produce about 63 percent more cement, up from 1.7 million tons a year to 2.8 million tons. While emissions of carbon monoxide will increase, "other emissions will decrease or remain constant," according to the DEC notice.

When Lafarge announced the project, the company indicated construction would begin in 2013 and take three years to complete.

Copies of the draft Environmental Impact Statement will be available Wednesday online at http://www.bethlehemchamber.com/modernization, as well as at DEC headquarters on Broadway in Albany; the town halls of Coeymans, Stuyvesant, Chatham, Kinderhook, Schodack and New Baltimore; and at public libraries in Kinderhook, North Chatham, Chatham, Valatie and Ravena.

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