WV EPA Cancels Public Hearing, Issues Pipeline Permit

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit for a natural gas pipeline in Jefferson County after canceling a public hearing on the matter.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the agency canceled the planned Feb. 21 hearing over “security concerns” and never rescheduled it. The permit was issued March 29.

Jefferson County residents had requested a hearing for the pipeline, which was planned by Mountaineer Gas and would deliver gas to Rockwool, a controversial coal- and gas-fired manufacturing plant being built in Ranson.

Casey Korbini is the deputy director for remediation programs for the Department of Environmental Protection. Korbini said in an email that the purpose of the pipeline is to extend an existing utility. Korbini said a public hearing wasn’t required, but the agency did try to address concerns about the project.