Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that he fully supports the Rockwool development project in Jefferson County, despite the level of pushback to the project from local residents.
The company will manufacture stone wool insulation on previous orchard land next to an elementary school and up the road from three other public schools. The plant will feature two smokestacks releasing a range of chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene.
Thousands of residents are in an uproar over the project.
Justice said in a news release that the company has worked closely with state and local officials to approve the project. He noted the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has and will continue to follow it closely.
“Rockwool will provide West Virginia with another significant economic and jobs development project and I am in complete support of their efforts,” Gov. Justice said. “This is good news as we continue to bring viable businesses to our state and keep moving forward. We are excited that Rockwool has chosen us as the location for this plant site.”
“Rockwool has followed all the required procedures during the permitting process and the WVDEP will continue to review and make certain that the law is followed and that the health of our citizens and the environment remain as the top priority,” Gov. Justice added. “Rockwool has demonstrated for many years at other facilities they operate in Mississippi and Canada that they are a green company and that they take the steps needed to ensure that their manufacturing operations don’t endanger the health and welfare of the public or the environment.”
“Again, the WVDEP will remain diligent in making sure that all regulatory requirements are met,” Gov. Justice said.
The Denmark-based company’s Jefferson County project was first announced over statewide media in July 2017. The company received approval for its air quality permit from the state DEP in April.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2020.