Lafarge Cement Plant Site Chronology
Early 2009: Community Advocates for Safe Emissions request to NYS DOH for public health assessment
The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) began an assessment of the potential impact on community health posed by the cement plant located in Ravena, New York, in response to a request from the community group, Community Advocates for Safe Emissions (CASE). Working with federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, NYS DOH began this assessment in two sequential phases, termed Phase One and Phase Two.
2009–2010: NYS DOH completes Phase One Report (Public Comment Draft)
During Phase One, the NYS DOH:
- compiled all available information about contaminants and dust released to the environment from the cement plant over its nearly 50 years of operation;
- identified exposure pathway describing how people might be, or have been, exposed to contaminants or dust released from the plant to air, soil or water; and,
- summarized previous health risk assessments and readily available health information for communities near the plant.
NYS DOH summarized all this information and explained how a public health assessment would use this information to determine the impact on health posed by the cement plant in the Phase One Report entitled Phase One Health Consultation "Lafarge Cement Plant, Ravena, Albany County, New York: Summary of Environmental Data and Exposure Pathway Evaluation; Health Risk Assessments; and Health Outcome Data (HOD) - Public Comment Draft," which was released in November 2010.
During a 45-day public comment period and at a December 2010 public meeting, the public commented on whether the information summarized in the Phase One Report (Public Comment Draft), and the health assessment process described, would adequately address their desire for an assessment of the health impact of the cement plant. Through the comment process, members of the public asked questions about the health assessment process, and also noted additional information they wanted to be considered.
2011–2012: NYS DOH prepares Phase One Report (Final) and Phase Two Report (Public Comment Draft)
NYS DOH addressed all questions raised by the public about the public health assessment process and incorporated all additional information recommended by the public into a Final Phase One Report. The Final Phase One Report identified two complete exposure pathways through which people might be exposed to contaminants or dust released from the cement plant. These are:
- an air exposure pathway (through which people may contact contaminants released in cement kiln stack emissions); and,
- a settled dust exposure pathway (through which people may contact dust containing some cement or clinker dust from the plant).
Phase Two of the health assessment builds on the conclusions in the Final Phase One Report and is summarized in the Public Comment Draft Phase Two Report entitled Phase Two Public Health Assessment Lafarge Cement Plant, Ravena, Albany County, New York - Public Comment Draft. In this Draft Phase Two Report, environmental data summarized in the Final Phase One Report are used to estimate and characterize potential air and dust exposures and to assess whether such exposures could be harmful to health. The Draft Phase Two Report also provides a summary of some health outcome rates for the population near the cement plant, and compares them to results for other areas in the region and the state to determine whether differences exist.
2013: NYS DOH releases Phase One Report (Final) and Phase Two Report (Final)
In March 2013, NYS DOH released Phase One Report (Final) and Phase Two Report (Public Comment Draft). With the release of these documents, the NYS DOH sought the public's review and comment on the Phase Two Report (Public Comment Draft). The 60-day public comment period ended on May 17, 2013. The NYS DOH received no comments and finalized the Phase Two Report in July 2013.