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Dutchess County agency to conduct its own review of St. Lawrence Cement proposal

Legislature’s Environmental Management Council to consider air impacts

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The Dutchess County Legislature’s Environmental Management Council (EMC) has decided to conduct its own review of pollution impacts from St. Lawrence Cement’s coal-fired proposal in Greenport.

In an April 24th response to an April 3rd letter from Bradford Kendall, Chair of the Legislature, and County Legislator Edward J. Haas, EMC Chairperson Gwen Harding-Peets and Executive Director David Foord wrote that the Council’s review will address "the potential for airborne pollutants being carried into Dutchess County from the proposed St. Lawrence Cement Plant in Columbia County."

Harding-Peets and Foord further indicated their intention to review "existing weather data from local sources including, but not limited to, that collected at the Institute for Ecosystems Studies and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Monitoring Stations in the Town of Washington, and data collected at the Mohonk Preserve," among others.

In a Thursday, May 8th editorial, the Gazette-Advertiser of Rhinebeck quoted Red Hook Legislator Woody Klose as noting that "airborne particulates know no geographic boundaries."

The study was welcomed by Friends of Hudson executive director Sam Pratt. "This is a positive step from the EMC and the Dutchess Legislature. We look forward to working with them to provide the extensive research and analysis already gathered by the respected biologists, engineers, and Clean Air Act experts brought to the table by opponents of this project—including our 2001 discovery of meteorological data collected locally by SLC itself in Greenport. It remains telling that the company doesn’t want that data considered."

Pratt added that "With opposition to the project ranging from local groups to the Attorney General of Connecticut and the Governor of Maine, it is only natural that Dutchess residents and leaders would have similar concerns. The proposed site is only 15 miles north of the Dutchess border, with a 40-story stack on top of a mountain, and burning 250,000 tons of coal every year."