12/21/18
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Griesmer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Issues Air Permit for Belmont County Ethane Cracker Plant

Today, Ohio EPA issued an air permit-to-install related to the proposed PTTGCA Petrochemical Complex that would be located at Old Route 7 and Ferry Landing Road (Hwy. 2), Shadyside.

 “Ohio EPA is proud to be part of the effort to bring critical jobs to Ohio, with issuance today of the final environmental permit PTTGC America needs to proceed with its ethane cracker plant,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. “We have been careful to ensure this facility will not have an adverse impact on the air, water or health of the surrounding communities.”

The permit allows the company to construct a 1.5 million tons-per-year ethane cracker plant, which has been projected to bring thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions to the region. The plant would use six ethane cracking furnaces and manufacture ethylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), which are used in plastics and chemical manufacturing. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and greenhouse gas pollutants are expected to be emitted within acceptable levels along with minor quantities of other pollutants.

Changes to the permit based on public comment received include the following.

  • The option to detect equipment leaks using an infrared camera was added to the permit. This means PTTGCA can use either the portable hand-held monitor or the infrared camera to detect leaks. 
  • Multiple minor errors were corrected throughout the document.
  • The computer modeling of emissions was re-run to correct some minor inconsistencies between the original modeling and the permitted emission limits. The modeling continues to demonstrate that local air quality and public health will be protected.

Ohio EPA held a public information session and hearing in Belmont County on Nov. 27, 2018, and considered all comments received before making a final decision on this permit. These comments are addressed in a Response to Comments document. The final permit and the Response to Comments document are available on Ohio EPA’s website at epa.ohio.gov/dapc/newpermits/issued. On that page, click on “Electronic Copies of Issued Permits” near the bottom of the page, then enter permit number P0124972 in the permit number box. Click “Go” and a list of the air permits issued to PTTGCA Petrochemical Complex will appear. Click on the red number in the PDF Document ID column to get a copy of the permit and the Response to Comments document.

Issuance of final permits can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing a final action; therefore, anyone considering filing an appeal should contact ERAC at (614) 466-8950 for more information.

Ohio EPA is still considering a modification to the company’s wastewater discharge permit, but the company could choose to start building using its existing permit. The Agency is expected to make a decision on the modification later this month.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

 
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