Blanket of dust covers Selkirk neighborhood, worries residents

SELKIRK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – People who live near a local industrial plant are concerned after finding their homes covered in dirt.

“It literally looks like soot on everything,” Jennifer Cattalinic, of Selkirk, said. “It was all over everything.”

Cattalinic woke up Wednesday morning to a dirty mess. Everything outside her home was covered in dust – the pool, the boats, the cars and the grill.

“It just doesn’t want to come off,” she said.

Cattalinic knew it came from the LaFarge Plant in Ravena about three miles away.

“We always have a little bit of dust here from that place, but it was not like this,” she said. “I mean, this was — it was thick.”

A spokesperson for LaFarge told NEWS10 ABC dust was released on Tuesday, and the company is offering residents free car washes.

At LafargeHolcim, our values are built on a continuous focus on health and safety in everything we do. On August 2, dust was released at the Lafarge Ravena plant that was carried by winds across our yard and onto areas bordering our plant property.

We take our responsibility as a community leader very seriously. We immediately notified the nearby business owners and residents and invited them to have their cars washed at our facility and offered car wash vouchers for follow up cleanings. So far, we’ve washed about 15 cars and aren’t aware of any complaints or further questions.

“My neighbor had the vinegar bath done by them twice,” Cattalinic said. “She’s also had her car detailed twice and still the stuff is on there, and she can’t get it off.”

Tim Gruss doesn’t have that option with his motorcycle.

“It’s leather; once it goes into the top of the leather, you can’t get it out of the leather,” he said.

He’ll pay to fix it himself.

“It’s kind of heartbreaking,” he said. “I mean, you’ve got all this money that you’ve got to put out on the line, and it’s not my fault it happened. Somebody should be held responsible.”

Cattalinic feels the same and wants some answers.

“Who’s gonna clean up all this, and are my children safe living here?” she said. “Is this gonna affect them somehow?”

In an e-mail, LaFarge also told NEWS10: The dust was composed of ground limestone which, as you know, is a naturally occurring mineral that we mine from our quarry. At this level of exposure, there is little known health threat to people or animals.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s