State Health Department Seeks Public Comment on Its Phase 1 Report On Cement Plant in Ravena

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 29, 2010) - The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is seeking public comment through Feb. 15, 2011 on Phase 1 of its two-part public health assessment for the nearly 50-year-old cement plant in Ravena, Albany County, now operated by Lafarge North America Inc. When complete, the public health assessment will determine the likelihood that past or present releases of contaminants from the cement plant might harm human health, and will recommend further study and/or actions to prevent or mitigate health effects if necessary.

A public meeting is scheduled from 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School auditorium in Ravena.

Today's report summarizes what is known about contaminants released from the cement plant and describes how people might have been exposed to contaminants from the plant both now and in the past. The report also describes previously performed assessments of health risk from contaminants released from the plant and available health outcome data for people living within a five ZIP code area around the plant. The information in today's report will be used to complete Phase 2 of the public health assessment, which will report on the likelihood that exposures described in the Phase 1 report might harm community health. Based on conclusions reached during Phase 2, further study and/or actions to prevent or mitigate health effects might be recommended.

The public health assessment is being completed to address community members' concerns about the potential impact on health of releases from the cement plant over the nearly 50 years it has been operating in Ravena.

The report is available online at www.health.ny.gov/environmental/investigations/lafarge/. Copies are also available at the RCS Community Library, 15 Mountain Road, Ravena, N.Y. 12143. Comments can be submitted in writing or electronically, no later than Feb. 15, 2011, to: Bettsy Prohonic, Education and Outreach Unit, New York State Department of Health, 547 River St., Room 316, Troy, N.Y. 12180. Comments can also be faxed to 518 402 7539 or emailed to ceheduc@health.state.ny.us .