Learning from Louisiana
The Appalachian Storage Hub (ASH), also known as the Appalachian Ethane (or NGL) Storage Hub, is a proposed mega-infrastructure project which could greatly expand unconventional oil and gas drilling (fracking) in our state and region. If built, this petrochemical complex would include five or more cracker plants, and regulating stations. Various natural gas liquids would be stored in underground storage facilities and transported via up to 15 possible pipelines. The petrochemical complex would roughly follow the course of the Upper and Lower Ohio River Valleys. Currently, it is uncertain whether most of the infrastructure would be located on the Ohio side or the West Virginia side of the river. It would cost billions of dollars to construct.
Area of Interest
Source of graphic: WVU-led study
- Air and water pollution at cracker plants, and other parts of the infrastructure.
- Massive water extraction and pollution at cracker/processing plants.
- Natural gas liquids are highly volatile, more so than dry gas (methane).
- Climate change!
- Uncertainty about regulations for natural gas liquid pipelines.
- Increased gas fracking in our state and region, exacerbating climate change; we should be expanding renewable energy and alternatives to polluting plastic instead.
- Tax payer dollars are already being tapped for a study of this proposed project.
- Leaks from underground storage caverns could lead to sinkholes, water contamination or explosions.
- This project would lead to increased petrochemical industrialization of Ohio River Valley. The experience of people in Cancer Alley of the Gulf Coast region informs us that the grave health risks outweigh the economic benefits.
- Risk of contamination of water intakes for the three to five million people who depend upon the Ohio River as their sole source of tap water.
- Many communities in the Ohio River Valley region are already economically challenged; many people in these communities can’t afford to move or have poisoned water and increased health problems from air or water contamination.
- The Ohio River is already known as the most polluted inland waterway in the country.
Size and Area of Impact: Initial industry reports have described this project as extending along the Ohio River from Beaver, PA to Huntington, WV/Catlettsburg, KY, with a spur extending from Pt. Pleasant, WV into Kanawha County, WV.
Would We Want a Cancer Alley here? Learn about Cancer Alley in Louisiana