We at Domestic Synthetic Fuels would like to thank everyone who turned out for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) public meeting on DS Fuels’ minor source air quality permit.
Approximately 100 people packed the Mason County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 30 for the meeting, which was hosted by the WVDEP. Many were residents of Mason County who wanted to hear plans for the $1.2 billion DS Fuels project to build a facility that turns abundant West Virginia coal and natural gas into ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, gasoline and other value-added products.
DS Fuels proposes building the plant in Point Pleasant. Those who attended Tuesday’s public meeting are our neighbors, community leaders, and members of our potential workforce.
Twenty-one people spoke about the project. Those in favor of the project included West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, Putnam County Senator Eric Tarr, Mason County delegates Jim Butler and Scott Cadle. Local officials included County Commissioner Sam Nibert who read a statement supporting the permit on behalf of himself and fellow commissioners Tracy Doolittle and Rick Handley.
Local business leaders spoke up as well. Larry Jones, vice president of the Mason County Chamber of Commerce and with Point Financial spoke up in support, Dennis Brumfield, a local accountant, Sandy Dunn, broker at Homestead Realty and apart of Main Street Point Pleasant and John Sang from John Sang Ford all spoke in favor of the project.
Representatives of the trades union also attended to lend support. Scott Brewer, former state delegate and current member of the Mason County Development Authority and CD Adkins of the West Virginia Pipefitters Association talked about how jobs would benefit the region.
State industry leaders who came on behalf of DS Fuels receiving their minor source air quality permit included: Charlie Burd, executive director of the West Virginia Independent Oil and Gas Association; Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association; and Jason Bostic, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association.
“We believe this project, which utilizes West Virginia’s natural resources of coal and natural gas will bring much-needed jobs, spinoff industries and economic development to Mason County, to West Virginia and to the region,” said West Virginia Business & Industry Council Chairman Chris Hamilton, in an official written comment to DEP.
Most of those opposed to the project had concerns about possible environmental impacts from the facility. The DS Fuels plant will be a minor source of emissions under federal and state law and produces fewer emissions than many industrial facilities. DS Fuels is a self-recycling facility that sends zero by-products to the landfill.
DS Fuels will employ approximately 130 people at the facility itself. Another 130 new mining jobs will be needed to provide the coal for the facility. Additional downstream job creation, industrial development and economic growth are expected as a result of the project.
DS Fuels strives to be transparent during the development of the project and welcomes public input. For more information, visit www.dsfuels.com or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.