Refinery to emit tons of hazardous particles

To the editor:

According to Riverview Energy’s permit application, the proposed coal-to-diesel plant will release 184 tons of nitrogen oxide, 255 tons of carbon monoxide, 120 tons of sulfur dioxide, 139 tons of particulate matter, 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide and 32 tons of hazardous air particles every year. The carbon dioxide alone, combined with the output from the Rockport power plant, will be over 900 tons of CO2 per Spencer County resident, or more than 50 times the average consumption per U.S. resident.

The plant will also produce significant amounts of deadly hydrogen sulfide gas which the EPA has classified as an “Extremely Hazardous Substance.” Those toxic releases will most definitely have a significant impact on air quality and overall health.

The most heinous aspect is that this super polluter will be within one mile of an elementary school and a nursing home. The young and elderly are those most at risk from air-borne pollutants. Students will be exposed to these pollutants every day from ages 4 to 12, very important years in the development of children’s bodies. These toxic microscopic particles will get into the blood stream and will affect every organ in the body.

In addition to particulate matter air pollution, the plant will emit sulfur which smells like rotten eggs. (They claim they won’t, but they will.) Ferdinand is directly downwind of the proposed plant. Ferdinand, along with others in this region, has been working very hard, and successfully, to grow its tourism appeal. What tourists will want to come to an area that smells like rotten eggs?

No matter how “safe” the company claims to be, things go wrong. Accidents happen. Deaths occur. Evacuations are ordered. It’s clear that IDEM and the government of Indiana are more interested in attracting outside business and promoting the coal industry than in protecting the health of Hoosiers.

Please attend the Dec. 5 IDEM hearing at Heritage Hills High School, 6:30 p.m. EST. Voice your opposition. For a T-shirt, please call 812-937-2544 or 812-367-2017. Write to IDEM before Dec 10. See for more information.

—Sue Krampe

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