A group of area residents have filed an appeal of the air permit issued to the Petmin pig iron plant by the Ohio EPA.
Ashtabula County Water Watch announced its plans to file the appeal after the Ohio EPA granted Petmin a revised air permit in July. The appeal cites a number of differences between the initial permit and the revised permit, including increases in the limits of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide equivalents.
The appeal requests that the permit be vacated, along with an injunction to prevent Petmin from installing facilities approved in the permit and legal fees for ACWW.
The appeal was submitted to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission. The timeline for appeals is generally worked out between parties involved, ERAC officials said previously.
“ACWW believes that the increased emissions proposed by Petmin will likely adversely affect the health of all residents, especially our vulnerable populations, in Ashtabula and has the potential to adversely affect the land, water and air of Ashtabula City and County,” ACWW said in a statement.
In a statement, Petmin USA COO and Director Palmira Farinha said that Petmin was aware that the appeal had been filed.
“We have been engaged in a rigorous permitting process with the Ohio EPA for nearly three years,” Farinha said in the statement. “The project has also received intense and comprehensive reviews from many other local, state and federal agencies including the US EPA, City of Ashtabula, Army Corps of Engineers and others to receive the required permits for construction and operation.”
ACWW’s appeal also mentioned a carbon dioxide recapture facility, which was in the plant’s initial permit, but not the revised one. Petmin still plans to construct the recapture facility, the company said in a press release sent out after the permit was released.
Petmin is confident that the pig iron plant will have best-in-class equipment that will meet or exceed air quality standards, Farinha said .
“We are committed to operating within all State guidelines and establishing a safe and environmentally friendly facility this community will be proud of,” she said.
The project is expected to create around 650 jobs during construction and 110 permanent jobs once it is completed.
“We are grateful for the extensive support received from the Ashtabula community and local and State leaders,” Farinha said.