US: Lehigh Northeast Cement has been fined US$50,000 by the state of New York for pollution violations relating to historic cement manufacturing at the company's plant in Cementon, also known as Smith's Landing in the state of New York. The site is currently a cement grinding plant.
In assessing the fine, the Department for Environmental Conservation (DEC) agreed to suspend US$10,000 from the total if Lehigh submits clean up and repair plans in the summer of 2013. In 2008, Lehigh was fined US$50,000 for similar problems with cement waste leaking through groundwater into the river from two other sites nearby. The company did not meet all clean-up goals set at that time.
Under a settlement with DEC signed on 8 April 2013 by DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly, Lehigh agreed to submit plans to clean up the sites and halt future leaks. The company also agreed to start using 'low-mercury' water treatment chemicals in its wastewater treatment system and also to begin checking its wastewater for acidity and lead levels.
In return, the company will have additional time to reach river pollution limits set in a DEC pollution permit issued in June 2011. Lehigh had initially contested those limits, but agreed under the settlement to drop its objections.
Lehigh said that historically some of the leaky sites had been capped, while others had not been using 'then-approved or accepted procedures.' The company added that it was working 'to contain and treat the leachate, under guidance and approval from DEC,' including installation of collection basins, and a pump-and-treat system to lower acidity of water before it reaches the river.