New York State Attorney General’s Office Letitia James and State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos filed a petition in the state Supreme Court on Friday ask the court to order a capital region hazardous waste manufacturing and combustion plant to monitor emission levels or shut down operations in an ongoing lawsuit.

The State Attorney General and the DEC filed a lawsuit against Norlite last month to force the company to limit the emission of harmful substances in the air.

James and Seggos asked the Albany County Court on Friday to order Norlite to implement a program to monitor the levels of crystalline silica and particulates the facility releases into the air and to make the results public. James and Seggos asked the court to require the plant to cease operations immediately when emission levels approach dangerous thresholds, and to hire an independent engineer to identify improvements to reduce emission levels.

“The air pollution from the Norlite plant has made it impossible for members of the community to open a window or walk outside without fear for their health and safety,” Attorney General James said in a statement. “Last month, Commissioner Seggos and I filed a lawsuit to protect Cohoes residents and force an end to Norlite’s long history of environmental violations. Today, we are taking action to prevent Norlite from continuing to endanger the nearby community, and we remain committed to restoring safe and clean air for all New Yorkers.

Norlite’s industrial operations emit high levels of crystalline silica and particulates, which pollute the air in the surrounding community and endanger the health of residents, according to the attorney general’s office.

The DEC and the attorney general’s office say recent state-led air quality monitoring shows that Norlite’s Cohoes plant — which makes lightweight aggregate from mined shale, according to the DEC — “emits contaminants at levels that increase the risk to the health and well-being of the surrounding community.”

“The joint legal action taken by DEC and Attorney General James to prevent air pollution from Norlite was an important step in the state’s commitment to help protect the health of local residents and our environment,” Seggos said in a statement Friday. holding Norlite accountable continues, this new filing aims to put in place additional monitoring and surveillance or shut down company operations to prevent any additional harmful airborne contaminants from affecting the Cohoes community.

The state conducted an intensive monitoring program at the facility in 2021 and this year and determined that levels of particulates and crystalline silica in the air of the community surrounding Norlite exceed dangerous levels that could have harmful effects. on public health.

The facility is located approximately 100 feet from Saratoga Sites Apartments – a 70-unit public housing complex that last month housed 100 residents, including 43 children, who watched clouds of dust migrate from the factory and cover the building.

They complain of a myriad of health issues related to air toxins, including upper respiratory problems, sinus problems, high blood pressure, headaches, eye irritation, aches and pains. throat, chest pain, asthma, COPD and cancer, according to the attorney general’s office.