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LETTER: Exciting times at Ravena plant

Editor, The Spotlight:

Your story on Lafarge (“Lafarge modernization plan moves forward,” Nov. 20) marks an exciting period in the history of the Ravena plant.

The approval of our plans to complete construction of a new state-of-the-art cement facility by June 30, 2016, is positive news not only for the Lafarge team, but also the community. It will allow Lafarge to continue making progress to modernize the Ravena facility, protect good-paying local jobs and remain competitive in the global economy.

Although the existing plant operates according to all federal and state environmental and safety standards, the new, modernized plant will bring new air pollution control technology to further reduce specific air emissions and meet strict future applicable emission standards adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Under the plan, Lafarge will commit an additional $1.5 million to projects benefitting the local environment, make added environmental infrastructure improvements at the existing plant and adopt new stricter emission limits for SO2 and Hg.

The several hundred million dollar modernization project will also help protect the plant’s 112 existing union and non-union jobs, and create up to an additional 800 temporary jobs during the construction phase, which will greatly benefit our local economy.

And work is underway. The preliminary design phase is nearing completion and key equipment, contracts will be announced in the coming months. The public’s first visual signs of progress should arrive by mid-summer with the installation of major components for the new plant, and soon we will launch a new modernization-focused website to help you stay informed about our progress.

We’re eager to get the new plant online and pleased that Lafarge’s modernization plans continue to receive tremendous support from area residents and community leaders.

Mike Kralik

Ravena plant manager

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