Coal-to-diesel project in Dale receives approval

Local News

Update

DALE, Ind. (WEHT) — On Friday, the Dubois County Democratic Party and Hoosiers for Justice filed complaints in response to news of Riverview Energy’s plans for a coal-to-diesel plant taking a step forward.

The groups filed five complaints against two state legislators and three state agencies, alleging they did not produce public records in violation of Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA).

Last month, they asked for 10 APRA requests, seeking documents regarding plans to dump industrial wastewater into the Huntingburg Drinking Water Reservoir.

Original story

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WEHT) — Riverview Energy received approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for a Title V air-operations permit. This marks a step forward for the company’s plans to build the first direct coal-hydrogenation project in Dale.

“This is an integral step in the process of bringing the direct coal-hydrogenation plant to Dale,” said Gregory Merle, president of Riverview Energy. “It is also a significant milestone for the U.S., because the plant will be the first greenfield refinery permitted in almost 50 years. This sends a clear message: The United States is back in the energy business.”

The plant will be the first of its kind in the United States.

It will use a process that does not burn or gasify coal to make what the company calls ‘environmentally friendly ultra-low sulfur diesel.’

Supporters of the coal-to-diesel facility have said it will mean jobs and money for the area, but critics have expressed concern about environmental and health implications.

The company called opposition to the project ‘misinformed.’

“We would like to thank everyone who supports this project,” said Merle. “You have suffered the slings and arrows of misinformation and scare tactics, and we appreciate your steadfast encouragement as we worked through the air-permit process.”

The Dubois County Herald previously reported that John Blair, president of the environmental group ValleyWatch, argued in March that coal is a dying industry and that the capital market won’t be able to support this project.

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(This story was originally published on June 14, 2019)

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