EPA: No problems for Moundsville power plant

MOUNDSVILLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not object to Moundsville Power’s planned $615 million natural gas-fired power plant, officials said.

Andrew Dorn, managing partner with Moundsville Power of Buffalo, N.Y., said the facility’s footprint will be much smaller than others throughout the Upper Ohio Valley, meaning it will have less of an impact on the surrounding community.

“The tallest structure will be 180 feet tall, but we will begin building 30 feet below the current level,” Dorn said of the smokestack.

By comparison, the tallest stack at the American Electric Power coal-fired Mitchell Plant is 1,206 feet. However, AEP spokeswoman Tammy Ridout said that stack is no longer in use as a new 1,000 foot tower is being used.

The proposed development area, a 37.5-acre site owned by Honeywell between the Williams Energy fractionation natural gas processing plant and the Moundsville Country Club, is a Superfund site by the EPA.

However, EPA spokeswoman Bonnie Smith and Remedial Project Manager Kate Lose said areas of the Superfund site may not contain contamination.

“This is a very complex site. Honeywell has done a major removal of contaminated soil,” Smith said.

The plant would be in an area adjacent to West Virginia 2 fine for development, Lose said.

According to the EPA, the Superfund area is known as the Hanlin-Allied-Olin site. Mercury, chloroform and carbon tetrachloride have been identified in the groundwater on the Hanlin-Allied portion of the site.

The Washington Lands water well, a groundwater public supply, is located 3,000 feet south of the site.

As of September 2012, more than 140,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds were removed from the subsurface soils. Contaminated dirt was excavated and either placed in an on-site landfill or shipped off-site, according to the EPA.

Visible at the entrance to the site is a sign representing a partnership between Honeywell and CH2M Hill, the firm with Moundsville Power contracted to construct the power plant.

Susan Small, a West Virginia Public Service Commission spokesman, said Moundsville Power filed a notice to site the plant. Kelley J. Gillenwater, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman said the firm applied for a New Source Review permit to assure compliance with clean air standards on Oct. 7.

“All we have right now is the application. It is currently under review,” Gillenwater said.