Sunday, May 15, 2011

DC Clean Air Update

Susan Falzon, Director of Friends of Hudson, recently returned from a lobbying trip in Washington, DC in conjunction with Earthjustice. Learn more about her efforts in an interview with Sam Sebren on WGXC, here.

The interview with Susan is near the beginning. Animal lovers may wish to listen to the entire clip for an interview with Columbia Greene Human Society President Ron Perez and Animal Kind Director Katrin Hecker.

Thanks very much to Sam for continuing to bring this (and other) important issues to the airwaves in the Hudson Valley!

Monday, February 7, 2011

February Fundraising Contest - Win A Prize!

This month is a critical time for CASE's efforts to reduce toxic air emissions from the Lafarge plant in Ravena. Lafarge's proposal to modernize their plant has been submitted to the DEC and is open for public comment. The outcome of this proposal will have an enormous impact on air quality, human health and the environment for this region for decades to come.

CASE is working closely in partnership with Friends of Hudson to review and comment on Lafarge's proposal. However, it is essential that we hire some top notch technical experts to help if we are going to fully ensure that Lafarge's proposal is truly state of the art, comprehensive, and fully protective of human health.

And that means that we need your help.

Please consider participating in our February Fundraising Drive. Proceeds for monies raised during the month of February will go toward payment of technical expert review of Lafarge's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for their proposed modernization.

As part of this effort, we are happy to announce our first-ever:


Starting Saturday, 2/5 to Wednesday, 2/16, CASE will be holding a Fundraising Contest. The winner who collects the most donations can pick their choice of prize:

-A NEW Keurig Coffee Maker; OR
-A Gift Certificate for a Massage and Manicure!!!

We urge you to talk to your friends and co-workers, or pass the hat at SUPERBOWL and VALENTINES DAY parties and collect donations! Then email us by 9pm on Wednesday, 2/16 with the total amount of donations collected. Thursday, 2/17, we will announce the WINNER and deliver their prize!

OR simply make a donation at any time this month to CASE. Donations can be mailed to CASE, PO Box 291, Ravena, NY 12143 or online right here with paypal.

This is our last chance at making the new plant as safe and clean as possible! Please enter the contest or make a donation!

Thank you so much for your support at this important time.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New EPA Regs on Cement Kilns Under Attack

In September 2010, the EPA established new standards for cement kilns that would drastically reduce the amount of mercury, hydrochloric acid, particulate matter and other harmful pollutants currently emitted by cement kilns. These new regulations are slated to go into effect in 2013 and will bring enormous benefits to human health, the environment, and will yield billions of dollars in health benefits by cutting toxic air pollution from cement plants.

Recently, however, Rep. John Carter (R-TX) is trying to build support for a congressional resolution to undo these EPA regulations before they have even gone into effect. These rules are long overdue: the EPA was actually required to set these standards for cement plants 13 years ago.

These regulations will reduce numerous toxins currently emitted by cement plants that can cause cancer, neurological problems, respiratory problems, cardiac problems, birth defects, and other medical ailments that can be catastrophic to human health. The EPA estimates that with these new cement plant standards, as many as 2,500 premature deaths will be avoided each year, and as much as $18 billion in health care costs will be saved just by reducing fine particulate matter emissions. And those numbers don't even include the health and savings benefits for the reduction of mercury, hydrochloric acid, hydrocarbons and sulfur dioxides which the EPA has not yet quantified.

The technology is here now and the cement industry can afford it. American companies build this equipment and America workers will be ones installing, operating, and maintaining it. These standards are not going to kill jobs - on the contrary, the EPA has estimated that the net effect of the rules could actually create jobs. Approximately 80% of the cement manufacturing capacity in American is owned by large foreign corporations (including French owned Lafarge in Ravena) with ample resources to install better pollution controls. Both Lafarge and Swiss owned Holcim are expected to report over $1billion in net income for 2010.

Rep. Carter's resolution would endanger thousands of Americans and waste billions of dollars every year. Even worse, if Carter succeeds, the EPA would be prevented from ever pursuing a similar pollution standard in the future.

Please take a few moments to contact your US Congressman and ask them to reject this outrageous attempt to allow one of our nation's dirtiest industries to have a free pass to pollute the air, harm human health, and cost this country billions in avoidable health care costs.

One easy way to help is to go here and send a message to Congress set up by Earthjustice.

Friday, January 21, 2011

DEC Hearing

For those who were not able to attend, a recording of the DEC Legislative Public Hearing on Lafarge's proposed modernization, held Jan 20th at the RCS High School, is now available on the WGXC website, here.

This was the last time to make a public statement on Lafarge's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the modernization of their Ravena plant. However, the DEC will continue to accept written comments until Feb 22, 2011. Information on how to submit written comments is below. The outcome of this modernization will affect this region for decades. It is vital that we speak up now and share our concerns with DEC during the public comment period.

Many thanks to Sam Sebren for recording this important hearing and making it available to the public online.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tell It Like It Is!

On Thursday, Jan 13th, CASE Co-Founder Elyse Kunz and Executive Director of Friends of Hudson Susan Falzon sat down in the studio at WGCX with Sam Sebren and the gang for "Tell It Like It Is", talking cement for a full hour covering many important aspects of our concerns over the Lafarge Cement Plant, the Harvard study, and why it is important to get involved now with this issue. If you are interested in tuning it, it is archived here.

This is a new link that takes you directly to the portion of the show with Elyse and Susan with no need to fast forward.

Many thanks to Sam and everyone at WGCX for hosting this lively and informative discussion!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Harvard Meeting Recap - WGXC and TU

If you missed the community meeting last Thursday held by the Harvard School of Public Health at RCS to present preliminary findings from their bio-monitoring investigation of heavy metals in the Ravena area, you can still listen to the presentation and Q&A and learn first hand about the results.

Our friends at WGXC were in attendance and have made a recording of the event available on their website here.

For those who would prefer to read, Brian Nearing at the Times Union did a great job in covering the meeting. His article is here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DEC Public Meeting on Lafarge - Jan 20th

The NYS DEC will host a legislative public hearing on January 20, 2011 on Lafarge's proposed modernization for its Ravena cement plant, 6 PM at the RCS High School Auditorium.

The outcome of Lafarge's modernization may impact this region for decades. This hearing is a critical step in the approval process. All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed projects are invited to attend the hearing or to submit oral or written comments.

The RCS High School Auditorium is located at 2025 Route 9W, Ravena, NY.

For more information, please see the post below.

Lafarge Modernization Comment Period

The NYS DEC is currently reviewing a proposal from the Lafarge NA to modernize their cement plant in Ravena, NY. This will include construction of a new kiln andsmokestack. The current kiln was constructed in 1962 so whatever Lafarge does with the new one will have long term consequences on this region.

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a Draft Permit for this project have been issued for public comment. This public comment period is the primary opportunity for the general public to express their opinions on this project. The comment period ends on February 22, 2011.

Info on the modernization can be found here. Hard copies are located at:

DEC Region 4 Headqrtrs
Coeymans Town Hall
Stuyvesant Town Hall
Chatham Town Hall
Kinderhook Town Hall
Schodack Town Hall
New Baltimore Town Hall
Kinderhook Memorial Library
North Chatham Free Library
RCS Community Library
Chatham Public Library
Valatie Free Library

Written Comments on the DEIS can be submitted by regular mail, email or fax to:

Sarah H. Evans
Project Manager/Environmental Analyst
Region 4 Headquarters
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady NY 12306
(518) 357-2069

(518) 357-2460 (fax)

Written comments must be received no later than 4:45 PM on February 22, 2011.

DOH Phase One Comment Period

The NYS DOH has completed Phase One of a report on some of the communities surrounding the Lafarge Cement Plant in Ravena, NY. The DOH report can be found here.

The report is now available for public comment. This comment period ends on February 15, 2011.

Written comments on this report can be sent by mail or email to:

Bettsy Prohonic
Education and Outreach Unit
547 River Street, Room 316
Troy NY 12180
(518) 402-7539

Monday, December 27, 2010

Save the Dates

2010 has been a pivotal and exciting year for CASE and its success is a testament to the hard work and generosity of so many of you. We can't thank everyone enough for your kindness and support!

2011 promises to be another exciting year starting right away in January!

The Harvard School of Public Health will host a community meeting at the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk High School Auditorium on January 6, 2011 at 8PM to present findings from heavy metal testing conducted by HSPH in conjunction with CASE in May 2010. This meeting will include a presentation and Q&A, and will be a valuable opportunity to hear first-hand about the status so far of Harvard's human biomonitoring investigation in the Ravena, NY area.

The NYS DEC will host a Legislative Public Hearing on Lafarge's proposed modernization for its Ravena cement plant on January 20, 2011, 6 PM, also at the RCS High School Auditorium.
The outcome of Lafarge's modernization may impact this region for decades. This hearing is a critical step in the approval process. All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed project are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments. More information on Lafarge's modernization can be found at

The RCS High School campus is located at 2025 Route 9W, Ravena, NY.

Please join us for these important meetings and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!