We deserve much better than Riverview

To the editor:

Last week, IDEM sided with the corporate polluter, Riverview Energy Corporation, and against the health, environment and quality of life of its Hoosier citizens by issuing an air permit for Riverview’s proposed coal-to-diesel refinery in Dale. But this refinery is far from a done deal. Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life is challenging the permit and continuing to fight for the health and welfare of Spencer County residents and all Hoosiers.

Our concerns about the proposed refinery are based directly on IDEM’s air permit and have been reviewed by independent scientists and doctors. If built, this experimental coal-to-diesel refinery and its emissions will absolutely harm us, especially our children and the elderly. Riverview President Greg Merle’s attempts to accuse the refinery’s opponents of misrepresenting the facts are disingenuous and false.

One of the headline-worthy assertions by IDEM is the agency’s misleading statement that “many commenters expressed support for issuing the permit.” In reality, 240 citizens expressed opposition to this plant while a mere 10 supported it. (This information can be found in the final permit document issued to Riverview.)

In issuing a permit to the proposed refinery, IDEM is acting contrary to its mandate to protect Hoosiers and the environment. IDEM’s complete and utter disregard for our region again confirms our “sacrifice zone” status, that we are expendable, and that their taxpayer-funded employees can, and do, routinely ignore the citizens. The extreme lack of air quality monitors IDEM employs in Spencer County (which, according to EPA, ranks in the top 1% of all counties in the U.S. for most toxic pollution) serves as another strong indicator of where we stand.

Sadly, we predicted IDEM’s bias and expected this rubber stamp. Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life will continue to fight this ill-conceived proposal. Please consider getting involved. Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages and website: NOC2D.com.

We deserve much better than Riverview!

We are not going away!

—Mary V. Hess, President
Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life

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