Letter: Residents must be heard to stop major polluter

In late October, IDEM released a draft air permit and stated “Riverview Energy’s coal-to-diesel plant proposed for Dale will not have a significant impact on air quality and overall health in the region.” I don’t know what that assessment is based on. According to the Riverview Energy permit application, the 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 US resident.

The plant will also produce significant amounts of deadly Hydrogen Sulfide gas under high temperature and pressure. The EPA has classified Hydrogen Sulfide as an “Extremely Hazardous Substance”. Those toxic releases are NOT “insignificant” and will most definitely have a SIGNIFICANT impact on air quality and overall health.

Maybe in IDEM’s eyes, the Southwestern Indiana region is already so polluted that another super-polluter wouldn’t hurt those citizens in the “Sacrifice Zone”. It’s clear that IDEM and the government of Indiana are both more interested in attracting outside business and promoting the coal industry than in protecting the health and well-being of Hoosier citizens.

The most heinous aspect of this awful facility is that it will be within 1 mile of David Turnham Elementary School and a nursing home. The young and the elderly are those most at risk from air-borne pollutants. Students at the elementary school will be exposed to these additional pollutants every day from age 4 to age 12 (pre-K to 6th grade). These are very important years in the development of children’s bodies. Not only the lungs will be affected. When these microscopic particles get into the bloodstream, they will affect every organ in the body.  Just the fact that this plant will be within one mile of these institutions, and inside the Dale town limits, should result in even stricter requirements than if the plant was going to be located in an unpopulated area.

My entire family lives, works and BREATHES in Southern Indiana. It is the most beautiful area in the country and we wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else. We do not want this plant, nor any others like it, to move in and pollute our area further. Our home is within five miles due east of the proposed plant’s location. We will be directly affected by the smell, the air pollution, the water pollution, the soil pollution, and the just-plain-ugliness of this proposed plant. We would have to live with that smell, pollution and ugliness every day of our lives.

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

The proposed coal-to-diesel plant is a monstrosity that should not be allowed to destroy our beautiful Southwest Indiana. Nor should it be allowed to destroy our health and welfare, and destroy the value of our homes and businesses.

No matter how “safe” the company claims to be, things always go wrong. Accidents happen. Deaths occur. Evacuations are ordered.

Please attend the Dec 5th IDEM hearing at Heritage Hills High School, 6:30 p.m. EST (5:30 p.m. CST). Voice your opposition.  And write to IDEM before Dec 10th to express your opposition. Address your letter to Doug Logan, IDEM, Office of Air Quality, 100 North Senate Ave MC61-53 IGCN 1003, Indianapolis IN 46204-2251 or email to dlogan@idem.IN.gov.  You must refer to Permit Number T147-39554-00065 in your letter or email.

See noc2d.com for more information.

Thank you.

Sue Krampe
Ferdinand Indiana (Spencer County)

3 Responses to Letter: Residents must be heard to stop major polluter

  1. Daryl Hensley November 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm #

    Ms. Krampe, why do you keep promoting those false numbers from NOC2D. IDEM is restricting the pollutants at Riverview Energy to levels way below those posted on NOC2D website. If Riverview exceeds the limits set by IDEM they will be heavily fined or could even be shut down. IDEM and US EPA will have monitoring equipment to check pollution levels, odor levels, etc.

    “No matter how “safe” the company claims to be, things always go wrong. Accidents happen. Deaths occur. Evacuations are ordered.”

    That is a true statement. Just look at some of the things that went wrong at Holiday World.

    Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
    Main article: Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

    The Raven
    On May 31, 2003, a 32-year-old female from New York City, died after falling out of The Raven

    Lawn mowing accident
    On May 27, 2006, a 20-year-old male park employee from Birdseye, Indiana died after being pinned under the lawn mower he was using.

    The Wave
    On July 4, 2007, at 11:00 a.m., a 29-year-old female from Fort Wayne, Indiana died after collapsing near the edge of The Wave, falling face-down into two inches of water. Lifeguards immediately responded and pulled her out, then attempted to revive her with help from park medical personnel.

    Bahari River
    On June 20, 2009, a filter pump on Bahari River malfunctioned, sending twenty-four guests and employees to the hospital.

    Bomb scare
    On June 30, 2016, a suspicious unattended backpack was found, causing an evacuation of the entire park.

    And these are just the ones listed at the wikileaks site below. I can imagine there are many more than those listed. The nature of their business may make it one of the highest accident businesses in Spencer County but I don’t see you calling for their closure.


    These events do not stop me and my family from attending Holiday World. We and 2 million plus people find it an exceptional place to visit each year.

    The reality is the crops and trees, which eat CO2 are going to love having this plant nearby. They are going to prosper from the small amount of CO2 from Riverview Energy.

    Quit fear mongering and debate the merits of the Riverview Energy project with true facts. Your 1400 signatures were gathered by promoting false facts.

    The elected officials of Dale and Spencer County have voted to support the plant. 93% of the population of Spencer County either support are indifferent to Riverview Energy building their plant. The plant will be closely monitored by IDEM, US EPA and OSHA and safety will be its highest priority. Companies like this always place safety as their most important priority.

    Daryl Hensley, Jasper IN.

  2. John Blair November 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

    Mr. Hensley-Are you aware that IDEM has no enforcement division any longer. Or, that the Trump Administration is successfully reducing regulation that protects our health nationwide. If you count on IDEM you will be really disappointed.

    • Daryl Hensley November 29, 2018 at 10:01 pm #

      Mr. Blair, IDEM monitors polluters and informs the US EPA of violations. The US EPA can fine those who pollute. The US Justice Department can sue/arrest them. The citizens and community governments can file civil suits.

      President Trump has made some regulatory changes and has called for more transparency from the EPA but he has not changed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act.


      Daryl Hensley, Jasper IN

Leave a Reply