Letter: IDEM has failed to satisfy its obligations in coal-to-diesel

We believe it’s one of just a couple of coal plants of any kind being proposed now in the U.S. that has a good chance of being built.

Earthjustice and other organizations have just called on Indiana to reject the Spencer County plant and have submitted a letter/official comment that explains, “‘The ‘Riverview’ development would be a massive industrial complex, spewing toxic chemicals on neighbors and a nearby elementary school in a county that is already in the worst one percent of counties in the nation for toxic pollution.” Here is a link to the full comments: https://earthjustice.org/documents/legal-document/new-source-construction-and-part-70-operating-permit-joint-comments-12-10-18

The organizations that joined Earthjustice in the letter opposing the coal hydrogenation plant include Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life, Valley Watch, Sierra Club and Citizens Action Coalition. Others have also spoken out against it, including a pediatrician worried about health impacts, a local high school student and even a 10-year-old.

A few more excerpts from the letter to IDEM:

“This refinery for coal would be dumped on Dale by a Connecticut hedge fund and a Texas construction behemoth, using a technology that has never been used in the United States.  If built, the refinery would emit massive amounts of hazardous air pollution every year.  Dale residents would bear the brunt of the environmental consequences from this pollution and serve as guinea pigs—all to benefit out-of-state interests. “

“Beyond its hazardous air pollution, the Refinery also would exacerbate climate change in our rapidly warming planet. While the world desperately needs a clean energy future, Riverview’s proposal is stuck in the past.  Constructing a refinery that could ‘crack’ over two million tons of coal and emit over two million tons of greenhouse gases every year is a plan for a bygone era, and one that does not make sense today.”

“As proposed, the Refinery would use VEBA Combi Cracking technology, which is not used by any other facility in the United States.  Through this technology, the Refinery would pollute the surrounding community with hazardous air pollutants, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and many other pollutants.”

“By basing its conclusions in incomplete and potentially inaccurate emissions information, IDEM cannot ensure that the Refinery will not cause Spencer County to fall out of attainment or cause serious harm to the public.

IDEM, therefore, has failed to satisfy its obligations under state and federal law and must withdraw the permit so that it can address these fundamental errors in its emissions projection.”

Valerie Holford

On behalf of Earthjustice

3 Responses to Letter: IDEM has failed to satisfy its obligations in coal-to-diesel

  1. Jeff December 13, 2018 at 12:45 am #

    The part that makes me most sick is how close it is to David Turnham. I really hate this. Where are the powerful families to combat this? Koch’s? Mulzer’s? Where are these families?

  2. Daryl Hensley December 13, 2018 at 1:31 am #

    Earth Justice is the legal arm of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is an environmental group, whose position on fallen timber in California forests, have allowed hundreds of thousands of acres to be burned. The death toll from these fires are over 100 people and the number of structures damaged in excess of 30,000. The CO2 emissions alone from the California wildfires was equal to all of the CO2 emissions from all of California’s power plants in 2018. More than 68 million tons of CO2 in 2018. Those emissions are equal to 15% of the total CO2 emissions in the state of California per year. The California wildfires emit 250 times more CO2 than Riverview Energy is allowed to emit. Yet the Sierra Club opposes the removal of 130 million dead trees that fuel these wildfires.

    I mentioned in a previous article that should NOC2D fail in its attempts to stop the Riverview Energy, they would attempt to thwart the will of the people via the courts. Well guess who just showed up.

    When fear mongering and misrepresentation of the facts fail, bring in the Sierra Club lawyers.

    It is clear, the supporters of NOC2D don’t care about democracy, their plan is to resist, delay, obstruct. Does that playbook sound familiar?



    Daryl Hensley, Jasper IN

  3. Leo December 13, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    So in the article where it says “all to benefit out-of-state interests,” are they assuming that all of the workers will be brought in from out of state and that the company will be paying zero in taxes to Spencer county? I also assume that none of the local coal will be purchased and it will all be brought in from out of state?