OSBCTC Secretary/Treasurer Mike Knisley and ACT Ohio Executive Director Matt Szollosi testified at an EPA permit hearing on November 27, 2018 on behalf of the $6 billion ethane cracker plant proposed for Belmont County. The following are Knisley’s comments.
“The long-term, multi-billion-dollar investment that PTTGCA/Daelim is making in the ethane cracker facility in Belmont County demonstrates a responsible balance between economic development and environmental stewardship that will benefit the residents of Belmont County and the Upper Ohio Valley. The cracker complex project includes remediation of the site which since the 1920s has been a coal mine, sand and gravel quarry, asphalt batch plant, and coal-fired power plant. The PTTGCA/Daelim complex will put Eastern Ohio on the cutting edge of a 21st century industry; and the design, construction, and operation processes of the complex will protect the biodiversity of the area as well as the natural archeological and cultural resources.
Thousands of Ohio Building Trades workers will have steady employment at middle-class wages, with health benefits and pensions, throughout the four years this complex is under construction and on future capital or maintenance projects throughout the life of this plant. These jobs sustain families – the families of working Ohioans who live in Belmont and surrounding counties. These men and women are personally invested in preserving the economic and environmental health of their communities.
Our tradespeople are folks who have the highest level of safety training and the advanced construction skills to ensure that the plant is built to be safe, strong, and secure. On behalf of our nearly 100,000 members – including thousands of hard-working men and women who are members of the Ohio Upper Valley Building Trades Council –I would like to thank project owners PTTGCA and Daelim for their efforts to create sustainable, high-paying construction jobs with benefits in the Upper Ohio Valley, while maintaining the integrity of the air, waterways, and way of life that our members have enjoyed for generations.”