IN issues air permit to Riverview Energy as two groups file complaints

IN issues air permit to Riverview Energy as two groups file complaints

Dale, Ind. (WFIE) - A big step forward has been announced for the company behind a billion dollar coal hydrogenation plant planned for Spencer County. Riverview Energy received approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental management for an air-operations permit.

The plant would be built in Dale, where they have had several public forums. The company says it will add jobs, but some people are concerned about health and environmental impacts.

We are learning two groups, Dubois County Democratic Party and Hoosiers for Justice, have filed complaints over plans to build and run the plant.

In early May, Dubois County Democratic Party with Hoosiers for Justice say they filed ten Access to Public Records requests with the Governor, Vice-President, four state legislators, three agencies and the city of Huntingburg.

This week, five complaints have been submitted against State Reps. Bartels and Lindauer, Indiana Economic Development Commission, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and the Lincolnland Economic Development Corporation.

"This is how Government serves people who have access to money and power instead of the people they represent,” Mike Kendall, Chairman of the Dubois County Democratic Party, stated.

They requested information relating to Riverview’s plans to dispose of wastewater and the possibility that it could ever end up in Huntingburg’s drinking water reservoir.

Riverview Energy’s president says that is simply untrue.

“Definitely not part of the plan, and more specifically, that is a clearly something we are neither planning to do nor allowed to do according to the permit we just received,” Riverview Energy President Greg Merle told 14 News by phone.

“God knows where. Where can we dump this and put it somewhere so we’re not responsible when people start getting the effects of the industrial wastewater,” Kendall questioned.

The plant is expected to be the first of its kind in the U.S.

Merle says the Dale plant is just the starting point for its operations. The company plans to build more plants in the future.

The Democratic party and HFJ are considering filing a request under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Until then, Kendall says a petition will be going around wanting towns to reject taking on any of the waste water.

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