WELLSVILLE — “While Dopuch didn’t have an exact figure of the revised project’s total cost, he expects it to be ‘more than half less’ than the $6 billion estimated to develop the coal liquefaction plant. The footprint will also be slightly smaller than the 522 acres originally needed for the coal liquefaction plant. Planck has already purchased some 425 acres for the project and may eventually purchase the full 522 depending on engineering schematics. ‘There won’t be all that coal coming in, so we won’t have to store 30-days worth of coal on the site,’ Dopuch said.
Planck executives discussed the changes with the Sierra Club of San Francisco and the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council, who filed challenges against the coal project’s building permits in 2008. The plaintiffs accused the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army of Engineers of failing to adequately assess the environmental impact of the plant. This forced Baard to rescind its funding request through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program, effectively halting the project.
On Friday, Planck and the environmental groups agreed to jointly request that the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission vacate further deliberations on the challenges. Dopuch expects the commission to sign-off on the filing in the next few days so Planck can begin modifying the building permits, he said. What’s more, he doesn’t expect any further action from the environmental groups regarding the changes to the plant.
‘We shared with them what our projections were for criteria pollutants,’ Dopuch said. ‘And they’re very pleased with that.’”
— Jeremy Lydic, Youngstown Business Journal
“Advocacy group Ohio Citizen Action, citing an NRDC study, reports that replacing 10% of the U.S. petroleum demand with coal-derived liquid fuels would “require a 42% increase in U.S. coal production, or 475 million tons more coal every year, to run these refineries.”
— Bob Petz, Ecology Global Network