L-R: Manager of Environmental Technical Support Michael Buckantz, County Executive Steven Neuhaus,
Project Manager Don Hewitt
TOWN OF WALLKILL – Revere Smelting & Refining Corporation (RSR) has invested $55 million for a new Wet Electrostatic Precipitator (WESP) system.
RSR, known for its battery recycling and environmentally friendly practices in doing so, deals with a high amount of lead emissions as a result of the recycling process. Rather than wait for the newest environmental standards, RSR has proactively invested in the WESP technology, which utilizes a process of heating exhaust through the use of electricity, then having the undesirable particulate matter isolated and removed. This process reduces lead emissions by approximately 95 percent.
To put that into perspective, RSR has reduced their annual average of lead emissions from 450 lbs to 9 lbs.
Company Manager of Environmental Technical Support Michael Buckantz said they are the only company in the lead recycling industry that uses this technology, and that each of their facilities – one in City of Industry, California, one in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as the Town of Wallkill – use WESP technology.
Buckantz said this was just part of RSR’s responsibility as pioneers in the industry.
“We like to consider ourselves leaders in the industry in: safety, the health of our employees, and on environmental issues: air, water,” said Buckantz. “We want to lead the way and we want to show the better path to maintain this industry in the United States.”
Having been to the facility to tour during construction, as well as to see the finished product, Wallkill Town Supervisor Daniel Depew said the company is dedicated to safe and environmentally friendly practices; enough so, that they would put up the money, as well as take an increase in operating expenses, to do it without being forced by regulation.
“It really opened my eyes to the advanced commitment that Revere is making in really getting ahead of the curve of many things that are going to help protect the environment when we look at what industrial manufacturers, like they are, are going to be committed to, to be able to continue,” said Depew.
RSR said in a state like New York where it is already hard for companies in their industry to be compliant, they’re still happy to go beyond what is acceptable and continue to set the standard for their industry’s environmental practices, here in the Hudson Valley.