Hearing tentatively set for Riverview Energy air permit

From Local Sources

HUNTINGBURG — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is planning to hold a public hearing to allow for testimony regarding the draft air permit for the Riverview Energy coal-to-diesel plant proposed for a site at 4704 E. 2000N in Dale.

The state agency has tentatively set the hearing for 5:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 29 at the Southridge High School auditorium in Huntingburg.

At the hearing, according to IDEM, citizens will have an opportunity to submit written comments and make statements concerning the draft permit, which will be available online at www.in.gov/ai/appfiles/idem-caats. All statements will be documented and be considered part of the official record, according to IDEM. IDEM will make no responses to comments and questions during the public hearing.

“Comments that will be most helpful will address the technical or legal basis for the permit conditions, or suggest additional requirements that IDEM could put into the permit to control air pollution,” an IDEM spokesperson said in an emailed response to Herald questions. “IDEM will respond to all comments in writing in the Addendum to the Technical Support Document. It will be included with the final permit decision documents.”

The public comment period will begin for the draft permit on Wednesday. Once it ends, IDEM will prepare a written response to all formal comments received during the public notice period. When the final decision regarding the permit is made, the agency will send a notice to each person on the permit mailing list.

Any person may appeal IDEM’s decision, according to the agency. The notice will contain information on how to do so.

According to IDEM, its Office of Air Quality issues air pollution control permits to sources that emit regulated levels of pollutants to the air.

“Permits require sources to comply with all health-based and technology-based standards established by the U.S. EPA and the Indiana Environmental Rules Board,” according to IDEM. “If an applicant demonstrates that they will be able to comply with all federal and state laws regarding air pollution, IDEM is required by law to issue the air permit.”

Since plans for the proposed coal-to-diesel plant were made public earlier this year, a group of concerned citizens — Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life — have banded together, opposing the plant because of pollution and health reasons They will host the third in a series of public forums about the project at 6 p.m. CT on Nov. 1 at the Heritage Hills High School auditorium.

In response to their opposition, union members and other citizens have voiced support for the project, saying it will create jobs and spur economic development in the area.

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