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Public Meeting in Stuyvesant 11/20 to Focus on Lafarge

DEC Has Issued Draft Title V Air Permit; First Ever Cap on Mercury Emissions; 30-Day Public Comment Period Ends December 4, 2009
Concerned groups question 176 pound mercury limit, call for extension of the Comment Period; Public Meeting will discuss this permit and Dr. Ward Stone's ongoing environmental testing
PUBLIC MEETINGFriday, November 20, 2009 at 7 PMStuyvesant Town Hall5 Sunset Drive
Stuyvesant, NY 12173
Six months after Lafarge submitted an application and draft for renewal of its federal Title V Air Permit the DEC has completed its review and released the Draft for public comment. Lafarge's previous permit expired in 2006 and it has since been operating under an extension of the permit although the conditions of the old permit do not meet current and proposed environmental standards. Once approved the Permit would officially be in force for five years.
Among other new conditions the Draft includes a cap on mercury emissions for the first time since the Ravena plant began operating almost 48 years ago. The proposed cap is 176 pounds per year which is greater than the amount of mercury emissions reported by Lafarge after mercury emissions testing in late 2008. (Lafarge Mercury Report, December 2008).
Friends of Hudson's experts are currently reviewing the Draft with particular attention to the conditions regarding mercury and other heavy metals and dioxins and furans, proposed testing, monitoring and reporting procedures and certain timetables included for monitoring and compliance. It is critical that this document receive the highest possible independent scrutiny, especially given recently surfaced concerns about the public health impacts of Lafarge's emissions in the host community and communities downwind in Columbia and Rensselaer counties. Therefore FoH and CASE (Community Advocates for Safe Emissions) are co-sponsoring a Public Meeting at the Stuyvesant Town Hall to provide information and engage the public in a discussion of the Draft and other relevant issues. At this meeting Susan Falzon will be joined by FoH attorney Jeff Baker to discuss the Draft permit, our preliminary findings and the opportunities for public involvement in this review and the anticipated environmental review (DEIS) for Lafarge's proposed modernization. In addition Dr. Ward Stone will speak about the environmental testing for heavy metals that he has been conducting on behalf of CASE in Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties and plans for further testing. CASE co-founders Elyse Griffin and Elyse Kunz will introduce us to CASE's mission and their current activities.
The thirty-day comment period will not provide enough time for our independent experts to review, analyze and verify the data and the proposed permit conditions. It will not provide enough time for officials or the public in affected municipalities to understand the Draft and be able to comment on it. Therefore we are calling on DEC to extend the period an additional 60 days and need the public to weigh in at the DEC in support of this request for extension.
To request an extension contact:Ms. Sarah EvansNYS DEC Region 4 Headquarters1130 North Westcott RoadSchenectady NY 12306
cc: Mr. William ClarkeNYS DEC Region 4 Headquarters1130 North Westcott RoadSchenectady NY 12306
Or send an e-mail to: r4dep@gw.dec.state.ny.us
To learn more attend our PUBLIC MEETINGFriday, November 20, 2009 at 7 PMStuyvesant Town Hall5 Sunset Drive
Stuyvesant, NY 12173