State attorney general, DEC suing troubled Cohoes plant

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New York Attorney General Letitia James and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are now suing the Norlite plant in Cohoes.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the attorney general and DEC commissioner are intended to force Norlite to stop polluting the air with contaminants that migrate off the property from towering stacks of aggregate.

Norlite has been dealing with a mountain of legal trouble, all because of large mountains of silica aggregate that have been piled up on their property for years.

“Pollution from the Norlite plant has put the health and welfare of those living in its shadow in danger,” said Attorney General James, in a statement. “Despite this unrelenting harm, Norlite has consistently refused to take the appropriate measures necessary to control emissions and protect neighboring families.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said Norlite has a long history of environmental violations. They have previously been slapped with enforcement actions and penalties from DEC – including cease and desist orders.

Until the company falls into compliance, Seggos says the 150 residents of the adjacent Saratoga Sites Apartments will remain at a heightened risk of lung, heart and nervous system diseases.

Norlite continues to generate an estimated 56 tons of dust every year. While the lawsuit continues in the legal system, Seggos promises DEC will continue to monitor the facility and collect additional data, the purpose of which is to hold Norlite accountable for any and all crimes against the environment.

Norlite previously told NewsChannel 13 the company was in the process of renewing its New York state environmental permits with the Department of Environmental Conservation, and welcomed community input.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to Norlite for comment. We have not heard back.