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Mercury Still Unregulated in the Cement Industry

Cement Industry Mercury Emissions Continue to Be Unregulated at State and National Levels Despite Science, Public Opinon and Court Orders

What is Needed
It’s time for NYS to stop passing the buck to the EPA while cement kilns get to play Russian Roulette with mothers and their babies. Mercury is bioaccumulative. Every day that these emissions continue unrestrained is another dangerous day that lasts forever.

It’s time for DEC to limit exposure of the most vulnerable segment of the population to the known health hazards of mercury.

It’s time for DEC to stop “negotiating” with Lafarge and allowing it (and Holcim in Catskill) to operate with expired air permits.

It’s time for DEC to issue a permit that imposes the most stringent limits on mercury and other dangerous pollutants on Lafarge.

What We’re Doing at the State Level
On Thursday March 6 at 11 am Friends of Hudson will join Earth Justice, Sierra Club, NYPIRG and Environmental Advocates and others in calling on DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis to immediately close the loophole that allows Lafarge and other cement companies to continue to put the health of our children at risk.

What We’re Doing at the Federal Level
We have joined Sierra Club, Earth Justice and several regional organizations throughout the country in applying legal pressure on the EPA to remedy the absence of standards for mercury and hydrocarbons emissions in the cement industry. Earth Justice has been fighting this battle in the courts for more than ten years and in 2006 FoH joined in the fight. Despite consistently being ordered by the courts to issue standards the EPA has refused.

The most recent action was filed in February 2007 by Earth Justice on behalf of Sierra Club, Friends of Hudson and a number of local organizations throughout the US . We have recently been made aware that there might finally be some movement on the part of the EPA.

We will post updates on this website and most importantly we will join with EJ, Sierra Club and others to ensure that the data EPA uses to base its ruling upon are accurate and relevant and that the ruling itself is appropriate and effective for the highest levels of protection of human health.

Stop Excessive Mercury Emissions in Cement Plants

Lafarge is operating its Ravena Cement Plant with an expired air permit that doesn’t set any limits on mercury emissions.

Lafarge Ravena’s mercury emissions of 400 pounds per year far exceeds that of any other plant in the state.

Holcim in Catskill and Glens Falls Lehigh in Glens Falls have not been required to actually test their emissions.

These three local plants are estimated to produce 600 pounds of mercury emissions per year, which is equal to half of the total amount of mercury from the state’s 26 coal fired power plants. This is just an estimate. The actual amount might even be higher.

(CLICK HERE for more detailed background information)***


Write DEC Commissioner Grannis today. Demand that this loophole be closed immediately. Insist that DEC include the strictest possible mercury emissions limits in a timely review and renewal of Lafarge’s air permit. Insist that the DEC immediately require accurate mercury emissions testing at Holcim in Catskill and Glens Falls Lehigh in Glens Falls.

The Honorable Pete Grannis, Commissioner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 11233-1010

Send a copy of your letter to FoH
Friends of Hudson
PO Box 326
Hudson NY 12534

Join us at the press conference in Albany, Thursday March 6 at 11:00 am.
LCA Press Conference Room
(Legislative Office Building, Room 130)

This is a joint press conference with Earth Justice, Friends of Hudson, Sierra Club, NYPIRG, Environmental Advocates and others

Watch this site for more details and updates on this and other actions at the federal level to stop the unconscionable excessive mercury emissions in the cement industry nationally.

Make a generous donation to Friends of Hudson so that we may continue to participate in critical campaigns such as this.

For more information e-mail to or call (518) 822-0334.

BREAKING NEWS—There will be an update shortly on potential action at the federal level. Check back to this site for this update on the EPA and mercury in the cement industry.