With construction of the Rockwool Plant in West Virginia already underway, a sense of urgency is picking up among western Loudouners to stop the project.
The Hillsboro Town Council on Monday night voted unanimously to pass a resolution that will be used to petition Attorney General Mark Herring, the county Board of Supervisors and state and federal representatives to “take any and all action to immediately bring to a halt the construction of the Rockwool facility until a more comprehensive study of the impact on Virginia has been completed.”
The resolution reads that because the town sits 10 miles away from the Rockwool site in Ranson, WV, Hillsboro residents and visitors will be harmed by the 392 tons of air pollution that the plant will emit each year. The council sees this as a major concern, since the its economy is based on agricultural production, agro-tourism and recreational-based tourism, all of which is dependent on clean air and water.
The resolution also states that if the plant becomes operational, local air quality sampling should be performed and paid for by Jefferson County, WV, or by the State of West Virginia.
Mayor Roger Vance said that the resolution would be sent this week to not only Herring and the Board of Supervisors, but also Governor Ralph Northam, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10), Sen. Dick Black (R-13) and Del. Dave LaRock (R-33).
Vance said that he also would be sharing the resolution with the county’s seven mayors and possibly working to organize a Coalition of Loudoun Towns meeting to discuss the matter further.
“We’re just trying to lay out the argument … and see if we can get some sort of dialogue going,” he said.