Residents remain concerned following Belmont County cracker plant’s vow to reduce carbon footprint

Belmont County

They say "going net-zero" is a Band-Aid for Ohio Valley's potential bullet hole.

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Ohio River residents are holding to their concerns after the company of the proposed Ethane Cracker Plant vowed to go net-zero with its greenhouse gas emissions.

Concerns extend beyond the carbon footprint. The group ‘Concerned Ohio River Residents’ and their attorney with Earthjustice ask why this parent company, GC (based in Thailand), would worry about local contaminants that have nothing to do with greenhouse gasses.

They say air pollution will not be reduced in this pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The pledge is not included in the plant’s approved EPA permit, so residents say there’s nothing to hold the company to it.

Net-zero means you are not putting out carbon into the atmosphere. But even if PTTGC employs this biotechnology, there are other pollutants than just carbon.

The facility would emit 38 tons of hazardous air pollutants each year. That air pollution is not going to impacted by this pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Megan Hunter, Senior Attorney with Earthjustice

At the Monaca Cracker Plant in Pennsylvania they’re building a cancer center literally right next-door to the cracker plant. And, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. That community is gearing up for a lot of sick people.”

Beverly Reed, Concerned Ohio River Residents

Reed says the plant has been an economic non-starter for seven years. PTTGC America has yet to secure investors and Reed says these “billions of dollars invested into this net-zero pledge” make the plant even less likely of a reality.

Which leads to another big question up in the air: What does PTTGC intend to do for this Belmont County facility to meet those net emission goals?

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