Green Hassig Visits Champlain Valley to Call for ALCOA SO2 Emission Reductions
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 10:00 AM
Federal Building, Plattsburgh, New York USA
The ALCOA West primary aluminum production facility at Massena, New York releases nearly three thousand tons per year of SO2 into the air. These are uncontrolled SO2 emissions; ALCOA removed the wet scrubbers that capture SO2 many years ago.
ALCOA West is a major acid rain maker for the Adirondack Mountains. It is upwind of the prevailing West wind for the eastern Adirondacks. When the winds are from the northwest, ALCOA acid impacts the central Adirondacks. This acid source is one of the closest heavy polluters to the mountains.
There is a connection between acid precipitation and cancer. Acidic runoff water leaches carcinogenic metals, including: mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic and nickel from the soil. These metals exist at increased concentrations in surface and ground waters due to acid pollution. The New York State Department of Health advisory, “Chemicals in Sportfish and Game”, warns against eating fish from many Adirondack ponds and lakes because of mercury contamination. Mercury is present in these waters as a result of acidification. The metal carcinogens listed above contaminate these waters also, regardless of the absence of this information in the DOH advisory. Loons and otter in Cranberry Lake have unhealthy levels of lead in their bodies because they live on contaminated fish.
The fact that ALCOA poisons the most beautiful and most wild part of New York State without any public outcry raises serious questions. If people know about this, why do they choose to do nothing about it? If people don’t know about it, why do they lack this important information?
I believe that people can find the answers to these questions by thinking about what they love. I believe that once people have thought carefully and clearly about what they love most they will begin thinking about how to protect the mountains. I believe that the solution to the ALCOA acid problem will follow close upon their thinking.
I know what I love. I love good health. I love Nature. I love the Earth Mother. I love the Adirondack Mountains. I love the waters, the air and the forests. I love the animals that live in the Adirondack Mountains. I love the people of the Adirondacks.
I want ALCOA to start controlling its SO2 emissions. I want the people of the Adirondack Mountains and the Lake Champlain Valley to become knowledgeable concerning this polltion problem and start advocating for emission reductions.