As we wait for federal standards to regulate coal ash, it seems that some states are following suit with delays on their standards as well.
In Albany, the Environmental Conservation Commission announced plans to “carefully” examine an already long-delayed proposal to ban coal ash altogether (the federal proposal would regulate it as a hazardous waste) at its Ravena cement plant. This is mystifying for many reasons. The proposal has collected dust since October 2008 during the administration of former New York Gov. David Paterson. Current Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently resubmitted the proposal to the DEC for another review. Huh?
Jim Travers of the Selkirk Ravena Coeymans Against Pollution said in this article: “I don’t understand why it is being revisited by DEC, when it was DEC that pushed it up to the governor for action more than two years ago.”
The Lafarge plant in Ravena is New York’s second-largest source of mercury. Coal ash, leftover waste from the burning of coal from power plants, is used at this Lafarge cement plant.
Susan Falzon, also a resident of Ravena, is in DC joining an unprecedented collection of doctors, faith and tribal leaders, nurses, social justice advocates and affected citizens who have come to Washington, D.C. as part of “50 States United for Healthy Air” lobby for clean air.
“The Lafarge Cement plant in Ravena, NY has been operating for almost 50 years,” she said. “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.”
Read her entire story.