Thanks to the vigilance of Riverkeeper—which filed a complaint about the facility at Cementon across the river from Germantown—Glens Falls Lehigh Cement has been fined $50,000 by the State for allowing leachate to seep into the Hudson River.
The Kingston Daily Freeman reports, however, that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will forgive 20% of the fine if Lehigh takes steps to correct the problem within three years. Riverkeeper’s complaint goes all the way back to 2007.
The Lehigh plant no longer manufactures cement from scratch, but rather blends portland cement produced elsewhere with imported slag, a waste from the iron industry. Residents banding together under the rubric of the Germantown Neighbors Association have challenged the facility’s permitting and management over the past decade.