Marion Energy Partners LLC; Science Facility (“data center”) ~ Permit No. R13-3533

by admin on March 7, 2022

Land is available for lease in the Morgantown Industrial Park

WV Air Quality Final Determination & Response to Comments – Science Facility for Morgantown Industrial Park

From the Division of Air Quality, WV Department of Environmental Protection, March 7, 2022

Pursuant to 45 CSR §13-8.8, the Division of Air Quality presents the FINAL DETERMINATION for the Construction Permit for Marion Energy Partners LLC —Science Facility, located near Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia ~ Permit Application Number: R13-3533, Facility Identification Number 061-00262, Date: March 7, 2022. {‘Promoting a healthy environment.’}

Marion Energy Partners, the same individuals at the same locations as Northeast Natural Energy, has proposed to construct a frack gas fired facility to generate electricity, with some unrevealed purpose that would use the power to run a Science Facility as a “data center” operating 24 x 365. Four G3520H Caterpillar engines rated at 3457 horsepower each would have individual stacks 20 feet tall, not very high in the valley. The frack gas, similar to natural gas, would contain numerous contaminants in low concentrations.

Consideration of Dehydration Unit ~ The DAQ agrees with the commenters that the dehydration unit at the MIP Measurement & Recording (M&R) station adjacent to the Science Facility should be included in the air pollution analysis because of plant functionality (e.g., engines need the field gas dehydrated) and is owned and operated by Northeast Natural Energy. The combined emissions, of Marion Energy Partners and the MIP M&R station would still be classified as a non-major facility under the major source construction (PSD) and operating permit (Title V) programs and as an area source of hazardous air pollutants.

Combined emissions of the two sites in tons per year are as follows: Particulate Matter (PM) 3.89, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) 67.4, Carbon Monoxide (CO) 34.22, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) 40.34, Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) 14.41, and Formaldehyde (HCHO) 6.68. [Some 55,000 tons per year of Carbon Dioxide will also be emitted.]

Oxidation Catalyst Monitoring ~ “The permittee shall monitor the temperature at the inlet of the catalyst in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications; a high temperature alarm shall shut off the engine before thermal deactivation of the catalyst occurs. If the engine shuts off due to high temperature alarm, the permittee shall follow the maintenance plan and the engine and oxidation catalyst manufacturer’s operating and maintenance procedures to determine the cause of the alarm and corrective action. If thermal deactivation of the oxidation catalyst is suspected, then the permittee shall also check for thermal deactivation of the oxidation catalyst in accordance with the oxidation catalyst manufacture’s written procedures and corrective action to restore catalyst performance (if necessary) before normal operations are resumed.”

Final Determination ~ “After consideration of all comments received, all available information indicates Marion Energy Partners LLC’s proposed construction of the Science Facility near Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV, should meet all applicable requirements of State Rules and Federal Regulations and permit R13-3533 should be issued, subject to applicable state and federal air quality management rules and standards.”

>>> The Mon Valley Clean Air Coalition and others have raised a number of issues and maintain that the Morgantown Industrial Park is not an appropriate location for this pollution. Other industrial facilities are quite close; and numerous schools, residential areas, churches, and critical health care facilities are in this same Monongahela River valley.

>>> It has been recommended that the City of Morgantown appeal this Permit to the WV Air Quality Board.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve K. March 8, 2022 at 1:05 am


The air permit is based on rather narrow criteria. For instance, if the methane to be used were leaking somewhere in the system, then generating electricity with it would be a good thing (that’s a hypothetical).

The main reason from an air perspective not to build the center would be the health of the school children in neighboring schools and asthmatics.

An interesting insight is that this pollution is to no avail, that is, no human good is created by mining bitcoin. In fact, it’s possible that the site would enable transactions that help Russia avoid NATO sanctions.

It’s kind of like the neighbor dogs pooping on your lawn and you don’t have a dog. It just stinks. We can hope that with natural gas prices going to the sky and the crackdown on bitcoin that this “science” facility will become uneconomical.

Steve K.


Donald Spencer March 8, 2022 at 4:18 am

I request that Permit Application Number: R13-3533 authorizing Marion Energy Partners to construct a plant on the proposed property adjacent to the Morgantown Industrial Park – not be issued.

The multi-dimentional air contamination, invasive sound, and other risks to the environmental quality of the locale are too great – not just for the existing commercial installations in the area – but for the elementary school, the PACE Center, the large public park complex, the Ruby/McQuain Event Center, outdoor athletic fields, the multiple mall complexes, etc.

The Marian Energy Partners’ development would also violate the intent of the West Virginia Code’s protection of municipalities from development within a mile of a city boundary when life and safety in the city are at risk.

I believe the the rejection of this permit application is definitely in order to prevent the devaluation of the site due to health and safety considerations for employment personnel in existing commercial establishments, school children, PACE Center child and youth rehabilitation participants, athletes and fans utilizing the athletic fields and the Ruby-McQuain center, and persons including youth utilizing other facilities in the immediate area.

Thank you for receiving this statement of concern.


Kathryn Madison March 8, 2022 at 11:36 pm

“Non-attainment for NOx ~ One commenter questioned the NOx non-attainment status of Monongalia County as result of the NOx emissions from the Science Facility.

“Currently, Monongalia County is in attainment status with the 1-hr and annual NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The 1-hr NO2 standard is 100 parts per billion (ppb).

“The nearest monitoring sites with valid data to Monongalia County is Shadyside OH (AQS Site ID 39-013-0006) and Charlerol, PA (AQS Site ID 42-125-0005). The 1-hr NO2 Design Values for 2020 for the Shadyside, OH and Charlerol, PA sites were 30 ppb and 32 ppb respectively.The annual NO2 standard NAAQS is 53 ppb.

“The nearest monitoring site to Monongalia County is the New Salem Site that is west of Uniontown, PA (AQS Site ID 42-051-0524). For 2020, the Annual NO2 Design Value for the New Salem Site was 3 ppb, which is just over 6% of the NAAQS.

“The Shadyside and Charleroi Sites had Design Values for the Annual NO2 Standard of 7 ppb and 6 ppb respectively for 2020. Based on these Design Values from these monitoring sites, the DAQ reasonably concludes that Monongalia County is in compliance with the NO2 NAAQS.

“Marion Energy Partners is not required to conduct an air quality assessment of the potential impacts from the engines at the Science Facility under the minor source permitting rule.”

NOTE ~ NEAREST MONITORING for NOx is NOT in the State of WV. No air quality assessment required by WV-DEP rules. This is not environmental protection.

Kathryn Madison, South Park, Morgantown


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