Glens Falls, NY - Lehigh Cement
Lehigh Northeast Cement Proposes Use of Fuel Product from Paper Mills as Partial Substitute for Fossil Fuels
NYSDEC Issues Draft Air Permit Modification; Project Will Reduce Emissions and Energy Costs
Lehigh Northeast Cement Company has submitted an application to
the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to begin using an engineered fuel, known as Raggertail, in our cement kiln to replace a portion of our primary fuel consumption (i.e., coal and natural gas). We use these fuels to heat
and convert limestone and other raw materials into clinker, the key component to cement.
DEC has reviewed our application and the results of air emissions testing performed with the engineered fuel and issued a draft permit, finding that our use of this fuel will continue to allow the plant to operate in compliance with our existing air permits and in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.
Our proposed alternative fuel is derived from non-recyclable materials diverted from the paper recycling process. It is made up of 60% plastic trimmings removed from cardboard boxes and other paper products, and 40% paper/cardboard fiber. Its use as a partial fossil fuel substitute will reduce total air emissions from our plant; divert the material from New York State landfills; and reduce our plant’s energy costs, making us more competitive. As you may know, Lehigh’s local plant is the longest continuously-operated cement manufacturer in the United States. We employ nearly 100 local people at our plant, which spans the city of Glens Falls and the Town of Queensbury, and at our quarry in the Town of Moreau, making cement for homes and other buildings, as well as roads and bridges.
The Lehigh plant has been a proud member of the regional community for 125 years, and we are committed to operating our plant and making our products in a responsible way that is protective of our environment. Our emission units are equipped with environmental control technologies designed to minimize our impacts on our community.
The following are some important facts about our proposal:
- Lehigh has not asked for any increases in our air emission limits and none are being proposed by NYSDEC. If we are allowed to use raggertail, we will be subject to the same limits on our air emissions as we are today. Lehigh’s Title V air permit, issued by NYSDEC, imposes strict limits on our air emissions, including those generated from the combustion of fuel (currently coal and natural gas) and raw material in our cement kiln during the manufacturing process. These limits were lowered for Lehigh and the entire cement industry by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015, and re-evaluated and affirmed by EPA as being protective of human health and the environment in 2018. Lehigh has invested significant capital on modifications to our emissions controls to meet these new standards.
- Lehigh conducted a trial period using raggertail as a fuel source in 2017 and performed emissions testing under the direction and observation of DEC. These tests showed that all of Lehigh’s regulated air emissions are expected to remain
below our current permitted levels with the introduction of raggertail as a fuel source, as shown in the following chart: