Comment period open for proposed plant

By Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The official comment period on the draft Air Quality Permit issued in regards to the coal-to-liquids plant proposed by Domestic Synthetic Fuels (DS Fuels), is underway.

The draft permit, which is not the final permit, was issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality (DAQ).

Written comments or requests for a public meeting must be received by the DAQ before 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 18. A public meeting may be held if the Director of the DAQ determines that significant public interest has been expressed, in writing, or when the Director deems it appropriate.

According to the DAQ, DS Fuels applied for the permit on Jan. 15 to construct a Direct Coal Liquefaction Facility in the Mason County Industrial Park, north of Point Pleasant, along the Ohio River.

The legal notice from DAQ in regards to the draft permit states, “a preliminary evaluation has determined that all State and Federal air quality requirements will be met by the proposed construction.”

The notice goes on to list “the following potential increases in emissions will be authorized by this permit action: Carbon Monoxide, 71.32 tons per year (TPY), Oxides of Nitrogen, 80.91 TPY, Particulate Matter less than 2.5 microns, 54.66 TPY; Particulate Matter less than 10 microns, 78.12 TPY; Particulate Matter, 83.49 TPY; Sulfur Dioxide, 27.19 TPY; Volatile Organic Compounds, 86.10 TPY; and total Hazardous Air Pollutants, 16.96 TPY.”

According to the DAQ, the purpose of its permitting process is to make a preliminary determination 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 in this article within the specified time frame, or comments presented orally at a scheduled public meeting, will be considered prior to final action on the permit. All such comments will become part of the public record.

“We want to have the WVDEP public meeting called to hear any concerns our neighbors may have,” Kevin Whited, from DS Fuels said. “We plan to educate and address concerns by hosting a series of open houses. We pride ourselves on being open and transparent.”

Whited went on to say, “The facility will have near zero emissions. We are using proven science with the most advance technology making this facility environmentally sound. All production waste will be recycled into other value-added products. The facility will meet or exceed all federal, state and local regulatory requirements.”

The address to mail comments is WV Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality, 601 57th Street, SE, Charleston, WV, 25304. Additional information, including copies of the draft permit, and other materials relevant to the permit decision, may be obtained by contacting Joe Kessler, PE, Engineer with the WVDEP at 304-926-0499, ext. 1219.

To view the draft permit on the WVDEP website, follow this link,

To find more out about DS Fuels, visit the website here and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

By Beth Sergent

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.