Albany County Legislator Matthew Miller to panel at Clean Air Forum

On Tuesday (2/9) at 7pm, there will be an online Clean Air Forum on issues regarding air quality in local communities including but not limited to, environmental laws and waste-burning practices. The forum, entitled “Clearing the Air in Coeymans,” will focus grassroots opposition to a waste-to-fuel scheme that could allow the Lafarge-Holcim cement plant in Ravena to burn millions of tires.

In this Podcast, McKenna Conners discusses the event and the importance of ensuring cleanliness in the air surrounding residential areas with Matthew Miller, who is a Biology teacher, member of the Albany County Legislature, and panelist at the upcoming event.

Click here to register for this online forum: http://tinyurl.com/CAC020921

Lafarge/Holcim wants to burn millions of tires every year at their Ravena cement plant opposite the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk middle and high schools on Route 9W. In 2019, the Town of Coeymans adopted a Clean Air Law to establish clean air standards for waste burning facilities. The law requires continuous monitoring of 19 serious pollutants, and places other restrictions on burning by any facility. This law defends the public from emissions containing highly toxic dioxins, sulfur, lead particulates, benzene, carbon monoxide, and more.

On November 19, 2020 the new business-backed Town Board held a public hearing on their decision to amend the Town’s Clean Air Law . These amendments would strip the strong pollution protections in the law and pave the way for any business to burn massive amounts of tires and waste. On November 23, the Town Board unanimously passed the amendments after only one public hearing and very little notice to town residents struggling in the middle of a pandemic.

As a result, the Town of Coeymans is now the only town within the County of Albany where hazardous waste and tires can be burned in spite of the Albany County Clean Air Law prohibitions. Since the amendments to the clean air law went into effect immediately, Lafarge/Holcim can now add the burning of tires to the waste it is already burning in the town.

Moderated by WOOC 105.3 FM correspondent Corinne Carey, the forum will include:

-Overview of LaFarge’s history as a polluter
-The Albany County Clean Air Law, Amendments to the Coeymans Clean Air Law, and the Permissive Referendum
-Health threats of burning tires and waste for fuel vs. coal in cement kiln incinerators
-LaFarge’s threats of job loss or even closing the plant
-Coeymans Town Board misrepresentations to voters
-Why the DEC and EPA does not protect us, using the Norlite hazardous waste incinerator in Cohoes as an example

There will be plenty of time for Q&A

Panelists include Attorney Carlo deOliveria, Albany County Legislator Matt Miller, Environmental Policy Expert Jane Williams, and Execute Director of Saratoga Sites Against Norlite Emissions, Joseph Ritchie.

This event is sponsored by the Coeyman’s Clean Air Coalition and the Hudson Mohawk Environmental Action Network.

Alexis Goldsmith

Alexis Goldsmith

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