"That's not an alien tripod! It's the the Lafarge cement plant burning TIRES!"

Much of the fire and smoke shown in Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" happens in the lovely town of Athens, New York on the Hudson River. It's the place where the ferry boat is attacked by alien tripods. While all that smoke vanishes at the film's conclusion, some much more noxious fumes are being planned for an old, decrepit cement plant in nearby Revena. The Larfarge company proposes to kock a hole in the smokestack and burn about 5 million tires a year. Since I live downwind from the stack, I'm concerned, as are many of my neighbors in Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer Counties. Smelled any burning tires recently? (There's no end to the ambitious, money-making ideas for destroying the region and our lungs.)

Here's the story on Lafarge from the Albany Times Union, 7/22/05.

Cement plant pares plans to burn tires
Public comment sought as state reviews Lafarge's application

By Patrick Cain
Special to the Times Union

ALBANY--After two years of reviews and revisions Lafarge North America has
filed a new application with the state Department of Environmental
Conservation to burn 4.8 million tires annually at its Ravena cement plant.

The next step is to collect public sentiment as part of the approval
process. The proposal is open to public review until Sept. 2.

The application for a permit is available in the Albany office of DEC, and
in the libraries of Ravena and Castleton, which is downwind of the plant. A
public information session on the application is scheduled at 7pm, Aug. 4,
at the A.W. Becker Elementary School, 1146 Route 9W, Selkirk.

"People need to let us know what they think of the application," said
William J. Clarke, Department of Environmental Conservation region-4 permit

Comments can be submitted to Clarke, NYSDEC Region 4 Headquarters, 1150 N.
Westcott Road, Schenectady, NY 12306 or emailed to r4dep@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Earlier this year the company filed an application to burn 6 million tires
but has since lowered its request. If passed, the 4.8 million tires would
reduce the amount of coal and coke burned by 35,000 tons and serve as 20
percent of the energy used at the plant.

Friends of Hudson, the 4,000-member group that mobilized against St.
Lawrence Cement plant's proposal in Columbia County, are taking aim against
Lafarge because of environmental concerns.