Forum to be held on Riverview project

From Local Sources

DALE — Valley Watch President John Blair and Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life President Mary Hess will update the Dale community on the status of Riverview Energy in an open forum co-sponsored by both groups at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Micah Center at the Dale Presbyterian Church located at 6 Main St. in Dale.

Hess will give a brief history of the project from the public’s perspective and Blair will give an update on the controversial project based on sworn testimony given by project officials in depositions proffered in the two groups’ legal challenge of the Title V Permit. Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued the permit on June 11, 2019. Under Indiana and federal rules, construction on the coal-to-diesel/naphtha refinery must begin within eighteen months of issuance of the Title V permit.

“Since project president Greg Merle steadfastly refuses to meet with citizens in an open forum to answer questions about his proposal, we feel it is important to update the community regarding the coal refinery he is proposing for Dale, using his own testimony,” said Blair. “Merle finds it acceptable to meet only with county and economic development officials but thus far has refused to meet openly to allow citizens to comment and ask questions about the project.”

Hess, who lives nearly adjacent to the proposed site said, “Merle and local government officials have been less than candid about their lack of knowledge on the technology behind the multi-billion dollar facility, how it will be financed and how it will alter the Dale community. This is our fourth open forum designed to better inform our community about the current state of knowledge about the refinery and its effects on our health and regional environment.”

After formal presentations from both speakers, the floor will be open to questions and comments of those attending. The forum is open to everyone, including Riverview project sponsors.

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