Monroe County in Ohio was hit hard when Ormet Aluminum Corp. closed, and has been dealing with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. The community has been hit hard, but thankfully the natural gas industry is giving the county new hope through a recently proposed natural gas-fired power plant. The plant has already been granted proper permits from the Ohio Power Siting Board, and is awaiting approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for air permits.
The Ohio EPA recently held a hearing to discuss the proposed power plant with the public at large, allowing interested parties to provide their opinions on the issue that will dramatically impact the community as a whole. The hearing was attended by about 130 people, and a dozen spoke on the record. All stated their support for the power plant, and not one person publicly voiced their opposition.
The plant would bring an immediate boost to the community, with 300-350 construction jobs and 20 permanent skilled trade jobs. It’s likely that this plant would act as the beginning of a larger movement, attracting additional development in the region that would bring even more jobs to the downtrodden community.
“This power plant provides us a world-class power facility and an opportunity to be good stewards and to leave our children and grandchildren in better hands,” Barbara Carlsund, Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Director, said. “We encourage you at the EPA to look favorably upon this request and to help us financially get back in the game.”
This is another in the long list of benefits natural gas has brought to Ohio. Expanding our natural gas infrastructure expands the number of people who are positively affected. CEPI is hopeful that this project will move forward soon, and that through expanding our pipeline infrastructure we’ll be able to improve more communities like this one.