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Asbestos Exposures at Milliken Power Station – Lansing, New York

The Cayuga Power Plant, or Milliken Station, is located in Lansing, NY, on the east side of Cayuga Lake. The plant provides electrical power to Tompkins County, as well as New York’s wholesale markets. NYSEG constructed Cayuga’s first operating unit in 1955. A tangentially fired Combustion Engineering boiler, provided steam to a Westinghouse turbine. Cayuga’s more powerful, second unit, came online in 1958. This time, steam from another Combustion Engineering boiler, powered a General Electric turbine. All told, Cayuga’s units put out a 306 megawatt operating capability, and at one time, accounted for nearly 12% of NYSEG’s total generation.

Like many older plants, Cayuga burns pulverized coal. The Norfolk Southern Railroad keeps Cayuga burning, by supplying a steady stream of coal, from basins throughout the United States. In the 1990s, Cayuga was retrofitted with sophisticated environmental controls. Nevertheless, the plant’s future is bleak. A $145 million proposal to convert Cayuga to natural gas was recently denied by New York State. As such, Cayuga is expected to cease operations soon. The closure is expected to have a heavy impact on Tompkins County’s economy, by putting at least 70 people out of work, and reducing annual school budgets by more than $1 million.

Although Cayuga may soon be gone, the plant’s workers will continue facing elevated risks of developing asbestos-related malignancies, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer for many years to come. For decades, asbestos-containing materials and components were routinely used in power plants, such as Cayuga. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Its resistance to heat, made it an ideal choice for high-temperature applications, such as steam-driven electricity generation. Although, asbestos provided an efficient means of heat resistance, unprotected powerhouse workers, never should have been required to handle asbestos-containing products. When asbestos is disturbed, countless tiny fibers are released in to the air. People working in the vicinity, are exposed to these fibers just by breathing. Unlike other airborne particles, asbestos fibers are not expelled by exhalation. Rather, the fibers embed themselves into lung tissue, where they remain for many years after the initial exposure. Over time, these asbestos fibers can lead to devastating injuries in powerhouse workers. Mesothelioma is one such injury. Unlike other cancers, mesothelioma is only caused by asbestos exposure. Therefore, if a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, they were necessarily exposed to asbestos.

The manufacturers of asbestos-containing products that were used at Cayuga, were fully aware of these dangers. Unfortunately, these companies neglected to warn hard-working and dedicated powerhouse workers about the inherent dangers of working with, and around asbestos. Had they just taken this simple precaution, the lives of a great many powerhouse workers could have been spared. Levy Konigsberg is highly experienced in representing powerhouse workers stricken with catastrophic injuries. For over 30 years, Levy Konigsberg has been one of the preeminent plaintiff’s asbestos firms in the nation. Negligent defendants, who placed asbestos-containing products at Cayuga, are well aware of Levy Konigsberg’s reputation. The firm’s many courtroom landmark victories speak for themselves.

If you, or a loved one have bene diagnosed with mesothelioma, or lung cancer, after working at the Cayuga Power Plant; Milliken Station, call Levy Konigsberg today.

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