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Concerned citizens meet in Shadyside over proposed ethane cracker plant

Wednesday night, county residents came to a meeting in Shadyside to voice concerns, organized by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

While the proposition for an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County has brought some excitement, there is also some opposition.

Wednesday night, county residents came to a meeting in Shadyside to voice concerns, organized by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

There a case was presented showing opposition to the proposed PTT ethane cracker plant and Appalachian Storage Hub.

"I’ve lived through what is known as ‘strip mining on steroids’ mountaintop removal,” said Dustin White of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. “I have literally seen them blow up mountains, and this stuff scares me."

The presenters provided examples of industrial plants in other parts of the country that have had negative effects on the environment. They drew comparisons to the nicknamed 'Cancer Alley' in Louisiana, which has more than 150 plants and refineries.

Resident Dr. Randi Pokladnik, who also has degrees in chemistry and environmental studies, among others, said the scientific practices behind the rumored plant concerns her.

"If you live in this valley and you drink from that river, and you have children, and you want healthy children to grow up in a clean environment, you need to call your local politicians and tell them that need to find other ways to make money,” she said

When faced with similar concerns at a recent town hall meeting in Powhatan Point, Belmont County commissioners said that it is not up to them whether or not the cracker plant comes, but rather that it is up to the state of Ohio.

Those who met in Shadyside Wednesday hope to spread the word that not everyone is looking forward to an announcement from PTT Global.

"We don't have to keep investing in companies that are going to contaminate the air and the water and threaten the health of our children and the residents that live in this valley,” Pokladnik said.

A similar meeting will be held Thursday at the Ohio County Library in Wheeling at 1 p.m.

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