More than 40 people will attend the DEP meeting on the Science Facility

The Sanford native was praised for teaching nuclear science

These are the terms used to describe a project proposed by Marion Energy Partners for placement in the Morgantown Industrial Park.

Story Highlights:

  • Science Facility.

  • What is known is that a 10, 000 square-foot facility would pull natural gas directly from a nearby Northeast Natural Energy well pad to power four natural gas-fired engines around the clock, 365 days a year.

Beyond that, information about the project is very limited.

Cryptocurrency mining uses banks of specialized computers to validate blockchain transactions for a specific cryptocurrency in order to receive percentages of said currency in return.

It’s believed the engines will provide electricity for a cryptocurrency mining operation, but attempts to confirm that with Marion Energy Partners have been unsuccessful.

Popular examples include Bitcoin and Ethereum. As of this writing, one Bitcoin was worth $42, 631.80.

A virtual public comment meeting held Tuesday by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Air Quality drew more than 40 participants.

For about two hours, participants, including local and state elected officials, offered comments and asked questions, including why so little information is available and who beyond Marion Energy Partners /Northeast Natural Energy would receive any benefit. “I would propose this permit be rewritten in a way that people would know with transparency what is going to transpire as far as what the business actually is, ” Morgantown Mayor Jenny Selin said.

Morgantown City Councilor Bill Kawecki said the facility will offer no benefit, only environmental cost. Delegate Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia, agreed.

“Often there’s balancing acts and decisions that are made where there are pros and cons to a type of development that would bring jobs or economic opportunities or community benefits to the table, ” he said. “But I don’t see any of those in this proposal. What I see is local air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and noise.” Story continues

Duane Nichols, who first brought this project to the attention of the Monongalia County Commission late last year, called on DEP Cabinet Secretary Harold Ward to get involved. He challenged Ward “to look at this project and to make a public statement of whether there is any social redeeming value and whether there is any value of the public interest that can possibly justify polluting the Mon River Valley, the neighborhoods, Mon County. Otherwise, this project stands as an insult to our community.”

Non-air quality related comments may be emailed to depadvocate Air quality-related public comments can be submitted to the DEP at edward.s.andrews until 5 p.m. Thursday. “Marion Energy Partners LLC ” should be included in the subject line.

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