Holcim in Our Midst
In today's Register-Star, Jamie Larson asks some local players, among them First Ward Alderman Sarah Sterling, Mayor Rick Scalera, Sam Pratt, and Linda Mussmann, what Holcim's decision to close its Catskill plant might mean for the property owned by Holcim on Hudson's waterfront: "Holcim port's future cloudy."
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In December 2003, Linda Mussmann called St. Lawrence Cement (now Holcim) an "awful mega-corporation" whose goal is "to take more than it can ever ever give back." Now she considers the departure of that company a "tragedy."
At Catskill, the company was indeed taking from our communities (by polluting the lungs and crops of its downwind neighbors) more than it ever gave back.
Meanwhile, they've grieved their taxes on both sides of the river repeatedly, while others pay full freight.
Naturally, we as a country should "make things." But we can and should manufacture "things" in a manner which doesn't selfishly and recklessly take "things" from others--essential things, like our health.
The SLC Catskill plant emitted mercury, arsenic, lead and fine particulate matter into the air and water of its neighbors for many decades. It was heavily fined in 2008 for some 300 safety violations, putting its workers at risk. It was photographed by Riverkeeper releasing large plumes of waste materials into the river... These were never the actions of a good neighbor.
Other companies bring good, safe jobs to our area without controversy, without dividing people, and without putting others businesses or lives at risk. We should build an economy based on mutual respect and sustainable development, not profiting at others' expense.