LafargeHolcim has reached a settlement agreement with New York state and the Environmental Protection Agency over environmental violations at its Ravena cement plant, which resulted in pollution of the Hudson River, reports local media.
Under the terms of the settlement, LafargeHolcim will pay an $850,000 civil penalty, comply with the terms of its State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, and make improvements at its Ravena operation. A portion of the money will go to a state environmental project aimed at improving stormwater management at Coeymans Landing Park.
The original complaint alleges that the Ravena plant exceeded its permitted discharges 273 times between April 2015 and April 2021. Further, administrative orders issued between 2011 and 2015 document unauthorized discharges of an unreported sulfuric acid spill, and discharges of partially treated landfill leachate to tributaries of the Hudson River, such as Coeymans Creek and Hannacroix Creek.
“This settlement helps protect clean water and ecosystems in the Hudson Valley for local communities and it has already improved Holcim’s compliance with critical federal and state environmental laws,” said Walter Mugdan, Acting EPA Regional Administrator for Region 2.
“Lafarge takes its environmental responsibility very seriously, including addressing legacy problems that existed long before the company’s ownership of the Ravena facility,” said LafargeHolcim spokeswoman Jocelyn Gerst. “The agreement marks the end of a multi-year process during which Lafarge fully cooperated and worked with environmental regulators in Albany and Washington, D.C., to address water management issues caused by management practices that pre-dated its ownership of the plant.”
Gerst concluded, “We have worked closely with the state and federal government to take steps to ensure we are in continuous compliance, today and into the future.”