WVEC Action Alert

Urge January Interim Committee to Take Up Community Solar/Air Quality Public Hearing in Follansbee on Thursday

West Virginia Environmental Council
West Virginia Environmental Council
Action Alert
Urge January Interim Committee to Take Up Community Solar/Air Quality Public Hearing in Follansbee on Thursday
Dec 9, 2022 View / Comment Online



Help Get Community Solar on the January Interims Calendar!

From our partners at Solar United Neighbors:

Community solar will create good local jobs, save ratepayers millions of dollars annually, and allow people who can’t install solar to reap its many benefits — all while allowing West Virginians to choose where their energy comes from!

Take action: urge the Joint Standing Energy Committee to put community solar on their January agenda.

Learn more about community solar here. Read the impact report detailing how community solar can benefit West Virginia here

Public Meeting on Air Quality Permit Notice – December 14

The WV DEP will hold a public meeting on December 14 at 6PM in Follansbee on an air quality permit for Empire Green Generation. Here is more info from the DEP:

On April 11, 2022, Empire Green Generation, LLC applied to the WV Department of  Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality (DAQ) for a permit to construct a waste-to-energy facility using a pyrolysis process to process medical waste into fuel. The facility will be located at 801 Koppers Road, Follansbee, Brooke County, WV, at 40.337027 latitude and -80.604538 longitude.  A preliminary evaluation has determined that all State and Federal air quality requirements will be met by the proposed facility.  The DAQ is providing notice to the public of its preliminary determination to issue the permit as Permit R13-3555.

A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, beginning at 6:00 pm at the Follansbee Community House located in the Follansbee City Park off WV State Route 2 (Main Street), Follansbee, WV.  DAQ staff members will be available beginning at 5:00 pm to answer questions from the public before the start of the public meeting.

The purpose of the DAQ’s permitting process is to make a preliminary determination of if the proposed construction will meet all state and federal air quality requirements.  The purpose of the public review process is to accept public comments on air quality issues relevant to this determination.  Only written comments received at the address noted below within the specified time frame, or comments presented orally at the public meeting, will be considered prior to final action on the permit.  All such comments will become part of the public record.

Written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

Edward S. Andrews, WV Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Air Quality, 601 57th Street, SE, Charleston, WV  25304
Telephone:  304/926-0499, ext. 41244
Email: edward.s.andrews@wv.gov

Additional information, including copies of the draft permit, application, and all other supporting materials relevant to the permit decision may be obtained by contacting the engineer listed above.  The draft permit and engineering evaluation can be downloaded here.

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  1. §20-5J-4. Commercial infectious medical waste facility prohibited.
    It shall be unlawful to construct or operate a commercial infectious medical waste facility in the State of West Virginia: Provided, That the secretary may authorize an exception to this prohibition solely for facilities not utilizing incineration technology in any form, including the manufacture or burning of refuse derived fuel: Provided, however, That such an exception may be granted only following: (1) The promulgation of legislative rules, in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, containing guidelines for such an exception that are being fully consistent with the findings and purposes contained in section two of this article; (2) a public hearing on the record in the region affected by the proposed facility; (3) an investigation of the infectious medical waste stream in the region affected by the proposed facility; and (4) a determination that programs to minimize and reduce the infectious medical waste stream have been implemented.

    This facility says they will process medical waste into fuel. That is the “manufacture . . . .of refuse derived fuel” and is prohibited by the above statute.

    Why is there a hearing on air quality even possible?

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