The news about climate change keeps coming in, and it is dire. Meanwhile, West Virginia and federal officials are falling over themselves to promote a massive petrochemical build-out for our region. This proposed Appalachian Storage and Trading Hub (ASH) would include huge, toxic cracker plants, thousands of miles of pipelines, and underground storage for natural gas liquids, all fed by a huge increase in fracking-related activities, with their devastating impacts on human heath, and our air and water. And it’s all about producing plastic, a substance that is already overwhelming landfills and choking our oceans.
The project would run along the shores and inland areas of the Ohio River Valley—from near Pittsburgh, all along the WV/OH border and into Kentucky, with another spur along the Kanawha River Valley.
So far, we’ve not seen any estimates of the potential tonnages of greenhouse gases that could be emitted from all stages of this project. Given the increasingly alarming climate news and the increasingly strident warnings that we must drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions now, politicians and government agencies should immediately put a moratorium on any related permits and stop the blatant cheer leading.
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Tomorrow, December 12 at 6 p.m., the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the NPDES permit for this same proposed ethane cracker plant. The hearing takes place at Shadyside Community Center, 50 East 39th St., Shadyside, Ohio, 43947.
OVEC’s Dustin White is heading to the hearing from the Charleston area. If you would like to join a carpool, contact him right away at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if there’s an open space.
Written comments on the NPDES permit will be accepted until December 18; details (and any updates) here.