The communities that host facilities like the Lafarge Cement Plant, whether willingly or not, need the protection of the government to ensure that they are not poisoned.
I've been concerned about air quality and air pollution since 1998 when I first became aware of power plant and cement plant permitting in upstate New York. In the broader community in which Friends of Hudson operates and has members, the cement industry has been of serious concern. The Lafarge Cement plant in Ravena, NY has been operating for almost 50 years. Over those years the plant has emitted significant amounts of pollutants and toxics, the effects of which have been visually apparent. But in the past decade we have become aware of the possible serious health effects as well.
The communities that host facilities like the Lafarge Cement Plant, whether willingly or not, need the protection of the government to ensure that they are not poisoned. Decision-makers in Washington, D.C. should create laws that are more protective of public health and the environment than of corporate profits. And they should ensure that these laws are enforceable and that industrial operations are monitored.
It is possible for industrial polluters such as the cement industry to produce far less pollution than they are permitted to do. Investments in newer pollution control technologies and in research and development will yield better air quality results than current operations do. It is imperative that the federal government require these companies to make such investments in order to have the privilege of extracting and using our natural resources.