The Fight for the Future of the Ohio River Valley

by admin on September 12, 2019

OVEC works throughout the upper Ohio River valley

Stand Up, Speak Out, Support: September, ASH, and Climate Crisis

From an Article by Vivian Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, September 4, 2019

OVEC is working hard to help raise awareness about and build resistance to a massive petrochemical/plastic build-out proposed for our region called the “Appalachian Storage Hub.”

If built as envisioned by its proponents, this petrochemical corridor along the Ohio and Kanawha river valleys would dwarf Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.”

The Shell cracker plant under construction near Beaver, PA, has been granted extensive tax breaks by Penna. This facility will emit a surprising large stream of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). It will produce polyethylene plastics which will further pollute the earth.

The infrackstructure related to the hub would stretch along more than 400 miles of the two rivers, reach into up to 50 counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky, and would include unlined underground storage caverns for volatile natural gas liquids, six major pipelines, thousands of miles of feeder pipelines, and huge polluting factories, such as cracker plants. The end products of the hub would be plastics; its feed stock would come from a jaw-dropping increase in regional fracking.

All this fracking and cracking and piping and storing would further endanger the Ohio River, already the nation’s most polluted interior river. The Ohio is the drinking water source for about five million people!

We’d see a dramatic increase in air pollution—not good in general, but even worse in an area prone to air inversions. We’d see an increase in the threat of pipeline explosions, and a new threat from the underground storage caverns. (Ask the people who live near the Bayou Corne sinkhole what could go wrong.)

The petrochemical build-out, the increased fracking to feed what would be created by the build-out, and the end-product plastics would all mean our region would see increased greenhouse gas emissions, which in and of itself should be reason enough for government to say, “No thanks, no way,” to ASH, since we are already facing a dramatic rise in deadly and extremely costly climate-related disasters.

The movement to stop ASH and build a different future for our region is all about addressing the climate crisis.

That effort just got a big boost thanks to some really hard work by Evan Gilland, who is studying documentary film making at Ohio University. Evan interned with us this summer and produced five stand-alone videos about ASH. Check them out here and please share them. Thank you so much, Evan, for all the hard work this summer! Thanks to Ohio University for their internship program. Big thanks, too, go to Cindy Ellis for narrating the videos and to Alex Cole for supervising Evan’s internship.

News coverage of ASH helps people understand the situation, too. Here’s some recent news that includes comments by OVEC, including volunteer Mary Wildfire and staff member Dustin White:

>> August 14: Ohio Valley Resource: Trump Visits Shell Plastics Facility, Touts Petrochemical Future For Ohio Valley

>> August 12: Public News Service:Should Huge Petrochemical Project Get Federal Clean-Energy Funds?

>> August 3: Charleston Gazette-Mail: The Appalachian Storage Hub is mired in secrecy. Residents say they’re already worried about what they do know

>> July 23: West Virginia Public Radio: DOE Official Tells W.Va. Lawmakers Petrochemical Development is a Top Priority

Support This Work: Help Us Meet Our Summer Fundraising Goal

Your donations support this work, and you can help us reach our summer fundraising goal of $30,000. As of August 30, we were about $10,000 shy of that goal. Monday, September 23 is the last day of summer.

This is urgent, because over the past couple of years, and through no fault of our own, we have lost a substantial amount of funding from philanthropic foundations. Some of our long-term funders have changed the focus of their giving. Others have spent down all their funds or reduced the amounts of their grants, and we have “timed out” for other foundations. We continue to seek new sources of funding. We have no doubt that we will be able to continue this work, but we really need your help right now. Simply put, it is more important than ever that we receive support through membership renewals, new memberships, and donations.

Please donate today.

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, PO Box 6753,
Huntington, WV 25773-6753


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Wildfire September 13, 2019 at 9:07 am

There are no live links on this but you can find it all on OVEC’s website at


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