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E-M:/ AP Mercury Article

Title: It concern us that an elected city official could take pride and continue to defend an industry that is right now the number 2



In the Alpena News today a front page article is the Lafarge mercury article by John Flesher of the Associated Press. It has appeared in a number of state newspapers already and will be distributed nationally early next month. Do not try and access it from the Alpena news website. You will not find it. For some reason, anything negative about Alpena or Lafarge does make it to their online version.


Below is a letter submitted to the editor of the Alpena News.


October 30, 2006


Letter to the Editor

Alpena News



MDEQ documents on mercury speciation show that the emissions from Lafarge are the most toxic and dangerous form of mercury. It tends to fall close rather than be carried away by the winds. Why an elected city official continues to take pride in his defense of the facility that is now the number two (2) emitter of mercury in this state concerns us. That makes us wonder who he represents.


Improvements by #1 will reduce their emissions which could make Lafarge number one. Our cool city is still trying to outlive the unsavory reputation earned for being home to     the largest hazardous waste burning facility in Michigan.  Alpena is now gaining state and national attention as being a top emitter of mercury. An Associated Press article distributed nationally early next month will highlight Alpena as such.


Let it be made perfectly clear. The judge did not rule that 570 pounds of mercury was safe. MDEQ toxicologists are seriously considering that a multi-pathway risk assessment  be conducted to establish an emission limit. Those in the MDEQ that say 570 pounds is safe and protective of our  health and the environment do not live here. The judge ruled that the way the state arrived at the 390 pound limit was not arrived at scientifically.


If Lafarge was a true Steward of our Environment as they claim in their ads there are two things they could do to earn that title.


 1. Eliminate the Canadian fly ash. It is only 5% of their product but accounts for over            

     50% of their mercury emissions.        


2. Install stack scrubbers. They would remove 95% of what is now coming out of their                                                            stacks. Environmental improvements are tax deductible. The dome and clinker storage are examples of that.


 Bill Freese, Director

Huron Environmental Activist League