For Immediate Release
Contact: Robin Blakeman, firstname.lastname@example.org
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Regional residents are pushing back against efforts to permit barge terminals to offload oil and gas waste shipped on the Ohio River. On Sept. 23, Robin Blakeman, Carolyn Sayles, Shelly Corbin and Sarah Carballo delivered 50 pages of public comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) office in Huntington, WV.
According to a statement written by Mary Aguilera, an organizer with Buckeye Environmental Network, “We are concerned citizens of the Ohio River Valley who will ultimately be the ones impacted by decisions being made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow oil and gas waste to be barged on the Ohio River.”
In response the USACE scheduled a virtual public meeting for one of the permits for DeepRock Solutions, LLC on Friday, August 7, at 6 p.m. However, according to participants, it was an ineffective solution and organized a virtual event to collect more public comments to share with the USACE.
“The virtual public meeting regarding the proposed Deep Rock barge facility near Marietta was very poorly run, with multiple steps necessary to register for and access this meeting, and changes were made 24 hours prior to the meeting,” said Robin Blakeman, a project coordinator with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. “For these reasons, a People’s Hearing was organized and run virtually by a collaboration of several regional grassroots groups.”
“Here in the Huntington area, we are downstream of all three of the oil and gas waste barge facilities being considered for permitting by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Blakeman added. “Since the Ohio River is Huntington’s sole source of tap water, and the source of tap water for 5 million people in our region, it is imperative that the USACE do a cumulative impact study of all three of these facilities before permitting or allowing to start operations of any of them. We are especially concerned about the Deep Rock facility, due to its proximity to an already highly polluted area.”
The comments were received by a representative from the Huntington District Corps of Engineers on Sept. 23.
Click here to listen to an unabridged audio statement by Shelly Corbin, Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, outlining the concerns and demands of local residents.
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