St. Lawrence Cement named to prestigious "Dirty Dozen" list
It's always good to see a local company gain recognition for
the work they do. Here's the story from the Berkshire Eagle.
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
6 December 2004
Proposed N.Y. cement plant makes Dirty Dozen' roster
WALTHAM -- Citing health hazards to New England states from what
would be one of the nation's largest coal-fired cement plants, the New
England-based environmental group Toxics Action Center has presented
Holcim Ltd.'s U.S. headquarters with a 2004 Dirty Dozen Award.
The Switzerland-based Holcim is one of the world's leading cement
producers. Its subsidiary, St. Lawrence Cement, is seeking to build a
massive cement plant in Greenport, N.Y., less than 16 miles west of the
Massachusetts border. The plant would burn an estimated 500 million
pounds of coal annually.
"A polluting plant of this size could not obtain permits in Holcim's
home country of Switzerland," said Sam Pratt, executive director of
Friends of Hudson, a 4,000-member organization in New York that is
opposed to the project, in a press release. "Why should a Holcim
subsidiary be allowed to threaten our health here in New England?"
More than 35 other groups and agencies, from the Berkshire Regional
Planning Commission to the American Lung Association, have expressed
strong concerns about the coal-fired facility. Former Maine Gov. Angus
King and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal have
expressed firm opposition to the proposal.
"The track record of St. Lawrence Cement and its parent company,
Holcim, is suspect, at best," said state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr.,
D-Pittsfield. "The proposed St. Lawrence Cement Plant, just over the
border in New York, could have significant impacts to our environment
and quality of life in Western Massachusetts."
Prevailing winds and the height of the plant's proposed stack -- some
36 stories tall, sited on a small mountain -- would send pollutants
such as lead, arsenic, mercury, carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases and
fine particulates eastward to New England, say opponents, as well as
nitrogen oxide emissions, responsible for soot and smog.
"If all that pollution heads our way, it will wipe out a lot of the
gains New Englanders have made in air-quality improvements," said
Eleanor Tillinghast, president of Green Berkshires Inc., an
Nathaniel W. Karns, executive director of the Berkshire Regional
Planning Commission, added, "The Berkshire Regional Planning
Commission remains very concerned about the considerable increase in
air pollution we would experience from a much larger St. Lawrence
Cement Plant. ...
The fact that the commonwealth of Massachusetts was not allowed to
participate in the New York environmental review of this project only
heightens our level of concern."
The eighth annual Dirty Dozen Awards spotlight 12 of New England's top
polluters as selected from a set of nominations by a 15-member panel of
environmental and public health professionals.