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Lafarge granted more time to build new kiln

Amended settlement holds strengthened pollution standards for Ravena cement plant

— Mike Kralik, manager of the Ravena plant, applauded the agreement and said Lafarge is working to transform the plant into an “efficient, competitive, state-of-the-art facility.”

“The 18-month extension proposed by the EPA and DEC will help Lafarge North America’s U.S. business unit maintain continued safe operations at the existing plant and preserve jobs, productivity and the plant’s role in its community,” Kralik said in a statement.

He said advanced efficiency features of the new facility would allow the plant to “compete successfully and meet the economy’s need for high quality cement.”

In 2010, the federal EPA, New York and 11 other states entered into a consent decree with Lafarge requiring the company to limit pollutant emissions from its 13 plants nationwide. At its Ravena plant, the company had to meet the imposed limits by Jan. 1, 2015, by either retrofitting the plant’s existing cement kilns or constructing a new, modern kiln that has advanced pollution controls.

Lafarge approached state and federal officials about an extension because the company claimed the cement industry has recovered slower than expected from the country’s recent recession. This slower recovery led the company to delaying funding of construction of the new kiln in Ravena.

Lafarge will have until July 1, 2016, to compete construction, but the agreement includes a detailed construction schedule and penalties for not meeting milestones.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Michael Myers and Policy Analyst Jeremy Magliaro of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Lisa Burianek, Bureau Chief Lemuel M. Srolovic, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg, First Deputy for Affirmative Litigation Janet Sabel, and Assistant Counsel Blaise Constantakes of DEC’s Office of General Counsel.

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