Cracker Opposed

Editor, News Register:

The people in the valley are being sold a bill of goods by the politicians when it comes to the cracker plant at Dilles Bottom. We are being promised huge amounts of jobs, that it is safe, and it will be good for the community. What we aren’t being told is that many of the jobs are construction jobs that will last about five years. Then, we are stuck with few jobs, and the effects of the plant.

This cracker plant will emit ethylene, which exposure to causes depression, irritations of the eyes, nose, and other mucous membranes. The EPA classifies it as a probable human carcinogen. Propylene will also be emitted which causes the same effects as ethylene. Benzene will be emitted, which is also in cigarettes. Benzene causes drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and is a known human carcinogen. Keep in mind, we already have high levels of benzene in the area due to gas and oil development. Butadiene will also be emitted from the plant. Butadiene, like benzene, is a known human carcinogen.

Lower level exposures of butadiene have been associated with mucous membrane irritation, neurological effects, low blood cell count., and lymphatic system effects. Additionally, it is suspected to have negative effects on pregnant mothers and their unborn children. These are just some of the toxins the plant will emit. Studies have shown an increase in childhood cancer rates in children living near petrochemical plants.

The topography of the valley makes it especially susceptible to smog, which makes all these pollutants 10 times worse than in other places. Anyone living in the valley can testify to the haze that hangs over the valley most of the time. This all seems to be being ignored by the companies who want to locate here.

Meanwhile, across the nation, other petrochemical plants are being sued over their harmful emissions. Exxon Mobile recently settled lawsuits over harmful emissions from several petrochemical plants along the Gulf Coast. PDC Energy of Denver, also recently settled lawsuits for the same thing.

Another thing that is never mentioned when talking about the cracker plant, is the pipelines. Many people don’t realize the number of pipelines that will be going to this plant. How many of you, who live near Dilles Bottom, want a pipeline or two running through your property?

Keep in mind, they will use eminent domain if possible.

As If this isn’t enough, this cracker plant is not the only thing planned for the Ohio Valley. A huge petrochemical hub is being planned for the valley as well. It is expected to go from Monaca, Pennsylvania to Kentucky. Several cracker plants, processing facilities and storage places are being planned for the valley. This hub will be like the one in southern Louisiana currently nicknamed “cancer alley” where one out of every household dies of cancer. Most of the people there can’t sell their houses because of all the petrochemical plants. They are basically stuck there because no one will buy their homes, so they can leave. These people don’t live in a valley like we do.

If it is that bad there, think about what it will be like here.

The time to do something about this is now. Don’t believe the news and our politicians who just want to line their own pockets. They do not care about what happens to you. All they are seeing is the money side of it. We are the ones who must live here. Listen to the environmental groups because they are telling you the truth. If we don’t stop this monster from coming, we will not be able to live healthy in this valley.

Join me at the EPA draft air permit hearing at 6 p.m. on November 27, at Shadyside High School, 3890 Lincoln Avenue, Shadyside, OH. Comments will be accepted both verbally and writing at the hearing and may be submitted through December 11, 2018. Written comments may be sent by mail to Kimbra Reinbold, Ohio EPA, DAPC Southeast District Office, 2195 East Front Street, Logan. Ohio, 43138 or emailed to kimbra.reinbold@epa.ohio.gov.

Shari Mills

Powhatan Point

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