Documentary Stokes Fears, Prompts Residents to Speak Out Louder Against Belmont County Cracker Plant Plans

From The Times Leader:
For some of the nearly 50 people who turned out to view a documentary film screening, the film not only provided a new perspective about how widespread the plastic waste problem is worldwide — but it also validated their concerns about the proposed PTT Global Chemical America plant for Belmont County.

The Ohio Valley citizens group, Concerned Ohio River Residents, made the educational documentary prerelease screening of “The Story of Plastic” available Saturday afternoon at the Grave Creek Mound Historical Site theater in Moundsville. The group invited dozens of invited local “decision makers” and politicians in an effort to showcase the global plastic pollution crisis that the world now faces, according to Bev Reed, an organizer of the group. 
She said while the 90-minute film still has still not been released to the public by its creator, Deia Schlosberg, she is hopeful the film will be made available to the public as soon as possible. Reed said the film is “very eye opening,” and that the group members feel very fortunate to have access to an early viewing. 
“The Story of Plastic” focuses on exposing the truth behind the plastic pollution crisis, according to its creators. In the film, footage shot over three continents illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, heaps of trash; rivers and seas clogged with waste; and skies choked with the runoff from plastic production and recycling processes.
Read the rest of that article by clicking here.

The Columbus Dispatch editorial board added their voices to those who aren't thrilled about the potential impacts of the cracker plant as well:
As Ohio officials do all they can to make a proposed $5 billion petrochemical plant a reality in Belmont County, we hope they are equally determined — and able — to protect the Ohio Valley’s air, water and health. 
To people concerned about the environment, climate change and public health, the facility proposed by Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical America is a nightmare. To expect the powers that be to oppose the plant, however, is unrealistic. 
The word “gamechanging” is used to describe the economic effect it could have on an area of the state that has suffered for decades from the decline of coal. If plans come together, the plant would mean thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs at the plant. 
The so-called “cracker” plant would take the ethane found in natural gas — produced in abundance via fracking wells in the area — and break the molecules into smaller molecules of ethylene, the root chemical for many plastic products. 
And the jobs and the building wouldn’t stop with the cracker plant. Its demand for ethane would spur more drilling in the area. There would be processing facilities to separate the ethane from the natural gas, and storage for the ethane destined for the cracker plant. A company called Energy Storage Ventures has said it will begin construction this year on a project to store 2 million barrels of ethane, butane and propane in underground salt caverns near Clarington, Ohio.
Click here to read the rest of that editorial. 

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