Proposed solid waste removal plan could mean Conn. waste comes to Ravena

RAVENA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If a proposal out of the state of Connecticut is chosen, then a cement plant in Ravena could be burning waste by the tons.

The state of Connecticut is trying to find a way to get rid of its waste after its incinerator is shut down. One possible solution involves the LafargeHolcim Cement Plant in Ravena.

“You drive by and all the dust and dirt and everything,” Ethan Brown, of Ravena, said. “All that icky stuff is all over the road and flying up in the air.”

For years, people living in Ravena have been concerned by specks of dust coming from the LafargeHolcim plant.

“I don’t like the idea of them putting, you know, dirt into my clean air,” Brown said. “I don’t want to breathe that stuff in.”

And now he’s worried once again. If the proposal is chosen, the Ravena plant could be burning 116,000 tons of solid waste every year in the near future.

The news comes after former Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck mentioned it to Rep. John Faso during a phone conference.

“I find it really surprising and troubling,” she said. “I don’t think anyone in the community knows about this.”

The Connecticut Department of Energy is considering three proposals to solve its problem of getting rid of the waste after they shut down an incinerator in Hartford.

One proposal is by a company named Mustang Renewable Energy Ventures and it involves the Lafarge plant. Under the plan, waste from 70 Connecticut communities would be transported to Ravena to be shredded and burned.

Enck said it’s the last thing they should be doing.

“We should really be maximizing recycling and composting and committing to zero waste,” she said.

Instead, if the bid goes through, Enck said the plant would be emitting a range of air contaminants, which could be problematic for people with various health conditions.

“We’re going to see air pollution not only in Albany County but also in Rensselaer County and Columbia County; it depends which way the wind blows,” she said.

The state of Connecticut told NEWS10 ABC that under the proposal, Mustang said it could be one of multiple ways they would handle the waste.

Lafarge isn’t confirming its involvement, but the spokesperson said they talk with renewable energy companies on a regular basis and such talks are exploratory in nature.

NEWS10 reached out to the company proposing the solution with Lafarge but did not hear back.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy is expected to decide on a proposal by December 31.

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