Rockwool has become a household name in the Eastern Panhandle, and it sparks a flurry of discussion and debate.
This European-based stone wool manufacturing plant is currently under construction in Ranson, Jefferson County despite pushback from residents on the grounds of environmental concerns and the plant’s proximity to a nearby elementary school.
Jefferson County Dels. John Doyle and Sammi Brown, both Democrats, beat their Republican incumbents during the 2018 election, right in the middle of rising contentions around the plant.
As we approach one-year since the start of public outcry, West Virginia Public Broadcasting sat down with Del. Brown, whose district includes those directly impacted by Rockwool.
We discuss the magnitude the plant played in last year’s election, how Rockwool brought people together but also created division; we discuss Brown’s recent arrest while protesting the plant, and we explore what the fight for those opposed looks like going forward.