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St. Lawrence Cement named one of New York's Dirty DozenFriends of Hudson joins Citizens Environmental Coalition press conference in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. -- St. Lawrence Cement received a Dirty Dozen Award from the Citizens Environmental Coalition at a press conference held in the Legislative Office Building in Albany on Tuesday, April 3rd.

The awards were designed to highlight the worst environmental and health problems in the state, with dozens of communities submitting nominations.

"While many polluters pose a threat to New York State, this year's winners are particularly notorious for the dangers they pose to the environment and their neighbors," said Bobbi Chase, Associate Director of Citizens' Environmental Coalition.

Friends of Hudson joined several other groups from the region at the Albany event to present their winning nominees. Also in attendance were representatives of UNCAGED, Clearwater and Scenic Hudson, each of whom nominated GE for the continued delay in dredging the Hudson River of PCBs; and Environmental Advocates, which nominated NRG Energy for its coal-fired power plants in Huntley and Dunkirk. Other awards were presented in Syracuse, Buffalo, and other locations around the State.

The Dirty Dozen "winners" were selected based on the severity of the threat they pose and the unwillingness of the polluters and government officials to adequately address the situation.

A selection committee evaluated nominations from across the state. It was comprised of environmental professionals, public health experts, and worker health and safety advocates: Dr. David Carpenter, State University at Albany School of Public Health; Laura Haight, New York Public Interest Research Group; David Cutler, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance; Alexandra McPherson, Clean Production Action; Jonathan Bennett, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health; and Bobbi Chase, Citizens' Environmental Coalition.

SLC was nominated by Friends of Hudson, the 3,300-member citizens group based in Columbia County which has been challenging the company’s vast coal-fired proposal there since 1999.

“After 30 years of being grandfathered from the Clean Air Act at its polluting Catskill plant, St. Lawrence Cement is long overdue in cleaning up its Greene County operations,” said Friends’ executive director Sam Pratt on Tuesday. “Instead, the company has proposed to partially replace their dirty site with an much vaster coal-fired facility in Columbia County, within one mile of the two counties’ only hospital. This represents a massive new threat to the region, masquerading as an improvement.”

Addressing the company’s heavily-advertised promises to “make the air cleaner,” Pratt noted that SLC parent company Holcim made the same promise in the late 1990s to residents of Midlothian, Texas -- but were fined in August 2002 over $220,000 for actually making air quality in that region substantially worse. St. Lawrence Cement had flown Columbia County leaders to visit this plant in Summer 2000 as a model for their Greenport project.

Pratt added that “Our members support clean, sustainable, 21st-Century industries. We want quality communities for the region. SLC’s proposal, with its 19th-Century fuel and astonishing sprawl, just doesn’t fit that definition. We call on St. Lawrence to withdraw their current proposal, and begin their long-overdue cleanup at Catskill.”

Since 1983, CEC and its diverse network of 110 grassroots community groups and over 14,000 individual members have effectively advocated for industry and government to take action on environmental problems in New York State.

For detailed information about the nominees, please visit CEC's website.