On February 23rd and 24th, 2016, the Ohio Valley Jobs Alliance (OVJA) appeared at an evidentiary hearing before the West Virginia Air Quality Board to challenge the request of Moundsville Power, LLC that it be granted permission to increase the amount of pollutants that will be discharged from its proposed natural gas-fired electric generation facility in Moundsville, Marshall County.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) granted Moundsville Power the requested amendment to its air pollution permit pursuant to a quick “administrative update” procedure that OVJA contends was improper. OVJA believes that the increases in the pollutants proposed to be emitted from the Moundsville facility required the DEP to subject Moundsville’s request to more rigorous scrutiny.
Jim Thomas, a leader with the OVJA, testified at the hearing on behalf the organization and explained the organizations opposition to the Moundsville natural gas facility.
Thomas said, “The mission of OVJA is to protect good jobs for the families of West Virginia. I was born and raised in Marshall County. I’m a retired coal miner. I worked in the mines for 38 years. Coal made the state of West Virginia.”
In conclusion, Thomas said, “Natural gas-fired plants like the proposed Moundsville facility may cause coal-fired plants to close. We believe coal-fired electric plants provide substantially more jobs for West Virginia families – both in the plants and in the mines that supply the coal – than natural gas plants will provide. That’s why OVJA is fighting this fight, for the people of West Virginia.”