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Monroe officials voice support of PSC permit application

WOODSFIELD — Monroe County officials sent a letter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to express support for the Powhatan Salt Co.’s permit application for its salt cavern storage project near Clarington.

On Tuesday, the Monroe County Board of Commissioners met with David Hooker, president of Mountaineer NGL Storage, who provided Commissioners Mick Schumacher, Diane Burkhart and Bill Bolon with an update on the Powhatan Salt Co. project, a sister company to Mountaineer NGL Storage. PSC is working to secure permits to move forward with construction of salt storage facilities that would support numerous proposed projects in the Ohio Valley, including the proposed PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker plant.

According to Mountaineer NGL Storage, the company has applied for three solution mining well permits so it can begin creating storage caverns in the Salina salt formation near Clarington. This would allow Mountaineer NGL Storage to store natural gas liquids including ethane, propane and butane extracted from natural gas fracking operations.

During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners signed a letter to ODNR expressing their support for the project, as it will aid in industrial development in the county.

“Whatever we can do to help the process along,” Schumacher said. “It (the project) will also help spur other secondary businesses.”

The letter states that the impending project will aid in the development of the proposed ethane cracker plant, Long Ridge Energy Terminal, Hannibal Industrial Park and the Powhatan No. 7 industrial development site.

“The availability of salt cavern storage facilities is a critical component in the development of the downstream petrochemical manufacturing industry. More specifically, the PSC project could help the development of other significant projects in the Appalachian Basin, most notably PTT Global Chemicals’ proposed $10 billion ethane cracker in nearby Dilles Bottom, as well as prospects evaluating nearby development sites in Monroe County such as Long Ridge Energy Terminal, the Hannibal Industrial Park and the Monroe County Port Authority owned ‘Powhatan No. 7’ site,” the letter states.

The project will create a bulk storage option that is needed in the area and will allow resources to be kept locally, Schuamcher said. The letter also states that after researching salt cavern storage, commissioners discovered that it is considered to be the safest and most environmentally sound method to store NGLs.

“It is our understanding that a salt cavern storage facility is located in Canton, Ohio, and that it safely stores NGLs. Our research indicates that salt caverns are widely considered to be the safest and most environmentally sound way to store NGLs. In fact, there are four salt caverns storage sites that, as of Dec. 31, store the 637.1 million barrels that comprise the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” the letter states.

Monroe County officials continue to maintain communication with the company through teleconferences, Schumacher said.

The letter to ODNR concludes with the commissioners requesting that ODNR approve the PSC’s permit application for the Monroe County project.

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