Comment to WVDEP on the Water Quality Impacts of the Rockwool Facility by December 20

The proposed Rockwool manufacturing facility, located in Jefferson County, would produce mineral wool insulation. The facility would discharge approximately 14,000 gallons of non-domestic wastewater a day for treatment in the City of Charles Town’s wastewater treatment plant. Accepting this discharge from Rockwool requires the City of Charleston Town to seek a modification of their wastewater permit.

You can submit comments on the permit modification through December 20, 2018. If you have questions, please contact Autumn Crowe, acrowe@wvrivers.org. You can learn more about Rockwool’s WVDEP permits here.

Permit Available for Public Comment

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released for public comment the City of Charles Town’s application for the NPDES permit WV0022349 for the Rockwool manufacturing facility.

Suggested Comments

The proposed Rockwool manufacturing facility is proposing to discharge 14,000 gallons per day of non-domestic wastewater for treatment in the City of Charles Town’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The WWTP discharges into Evitts Run, a tributary of the Shenandoah River within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Because of the sensitivity of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed addition scrutiny of this permit is needed.

Watershed Protection: The facility is located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Restoration efforts are underway to improve the Chesapeake Bay and significant progress has been made. The region is currently developing Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP III). This modification will contribute to the pollution load of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Waste load calculations should be included in the application.

Infrastructure Concerns: The facility lies approximately 6.75 miles from the WWTP. The permit modification does not provide any information on whether the current sewer lines can accommodate the facility or whether updates to the existing infrastructure are needed. There are questions as to whether the WWTP can accommodate the wastewater produced by Rockwool. Data is needed to show that the WWTP can accommodate Rockwool’s increased quantity of wastewater before DEP can approve this modification.

Permit Inadequacies:  The water balance document for the Rockwool facility shows that stormwater will be captured and treated, but there are no details as to how this water will be treated and what this water will be used for at the facility. Furthermore, the permit application does not include any information on non-compliance because this is a new facility. However, the company operates similar facilities. DEP should request compliance reports from their other facilities.

Submit Comments by 5PM December 20, 2018

  1. Comment online through WV Rivers action tool here;
  2. By email with the permit number in the subject line: dep.comments@wv.gov; or
  3. By mail referencing the permit number in your letter:

Director, Division of Water and Management, DEP
ATTN: Sharon Mullins, Permitting Section
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304-2345

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