COHOES, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Norlite, LLC, (Norlite) today met with a group of local elected officials to brief them on the company’s operations in Cohoes, including the fact that Norlite has not processed material containing diluted aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) since December 2019.
Norlite is closely following research by the U.S. EPA and others related to AFFF materials and will not resume its processing of AFFF materials until additional testing, in conjunction with the U.S. EPA and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is conducted that supports the evidence that thermal destruction is the safest and most effective method of disposal.
Norlite officials also described the company’s progress on a $30 million voluntary investment that will eliminate permitted water discharges to the Mohawk River and improve system operations and efficiency, resulting in reduced consumption of fuel needed to manufacture the company’s ceramic lightweight aggregate products. The system upgrade is being conducted with oversight by the DEC and was preceded by community meetings and notifications of stakeholders, including local elected officials.
Norlite operates two lightweight aggregate kilns to manufacture its products. The extremely high heat needed for the kilns comes from the thermal destruction and energy recovery of liquid materials generated by educational institutions, government agencies, local industries and manufacturers. Norlite’s use of these alternative fuels reduces its reliance on traditional fossil fuels.
New York State has issued to Norlite permits that strictly limit what can be processed and emitted from its facility. These permits (a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act [RCRA] permit and Title V Air permit) govern the company’s acceptance, assessment, monitoring and reporting of the materials it manages, as well as the manner and processes by which those materials are handled. A DEC employee is stationed at the Norlite facility to oversee environmental compliance.
PFAS compounds are not categorized as hazardous wastes under RCRA nor as hazardous pollutants under Clean Air Act regulations. Nevertheless, Norlite voluntarily reported to DEC its receipt of AFFF solutions and the blending with a fuel material to be incinerated in the kilns. The AFFF material was handled and disposed of in compliance with all U.S. EPA and DEC regulations.
Norlite will continue to communicate and work with regulatory agencies, local officials and the community to ensure that its operations remain safe and protective of human health and the environment.
About Norlite, LLC: Norlite, LLC, was founded in Cohoes in 1956 and employs 70 people. The company manufactures ceramic lightweight aggregates from shale. Its product is used in bridges, horticulture, masonry, structural concrete, geotechnical fill and related projects. Use of Norlite’s lightweight aggregate in construction reduces overall energy consumption, thereby reducing the associated lifecycle costs, supporting sustainable development and contributing to projects becoming certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, a nationally recognized green building rating system. Norlite products also lower the thermal conductivity of building materials, which contributes to energy efficiency, improves fire ratings, and enhances sustainability. For more information, please visit http://www.norliteagg.com.