The Sierra Club has requested the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency become involved in the regulatory process for Mountaineer’s CCS.
In a letter drafted to Chris Korleski, director of the Ohio EPA, the Sierra Club said it’s speaking for its 20,000 members in Ohio to request Ohio EPA make a determination as to whether or not impacts from this injection may negatively impact public safety, health and/or property in Ohio, and communicate the results of this determination to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Also in the letter the Sierra Club said it is fully aware that Ohio EPA does not have permitting authority over the Mountaineer plant. However, the Sierra Club feels the experimental nature of the CCS project, its proximity to Ohio and the possibly “negative impacts to Ohioans lead us to believe it is Ohio EPA’s responsibility to make such a determination and file comments to that effect with the West Virginia DEP.”
The Sierra Club also asked for a public information session and hearing in southeast Ohio and to make the West Virginia permit application available for public inspection to Ohioans.
Some specific concerns the Sierra Club has about the project are: AEP should install an emergency notification system for nearby Ohio residents similar to the one proposed for West Virginia residents; Ohio residents who may be impacted have not been given sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns because no public notice has taken place in Ohio; areas near the experimental site in Ohio should be monitored and evaluated for seismic activity; coal mining employees working underground in Ohio across the river from the proposed CCS test site, most notably Gatling Ohio’s Yellowbush Mine, should be notified of the project and of potential risks and emergency evacuation plans for coal miners should be developed.
According to AEP’s website, captured carbon dioxide will be designated for geological storage in deep saline aquifers at the Mountaineer site. Though carbon dioxide emissions are not currently regulated, it’s believed by many that will eventually change. Carbon dioxide emissions, such as those emitted from coal-fired power plants are believed to contribute to global warming.