Citing repeated water pollution violations, West Virginia regulators have ordered a halt to construction of a controversial concrete plant that’s being built south of Morgantown.
Last week, the state Department of Environmental Protection issued a “cease-and-desist’ order to Wendell H. Stone Company Inc. The order was issued July 26. It was signed by Scott Mandirola, director of the DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management and sent to the company by Jeremy Bandy, DEP’s chief environmental enforcement inspector.
The DEP issued the order after agency inspectors issued four notices of violation to the company during visits to the site in May, June and July.
Inspectors from the DEP found that construction at the site was proceeding without the necessary sediment control measures and that sediment-laden stormwater from the site was running onto W.Va. 73.
Wendell H. Stone Company, with offices in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, is building the concrete batch plant along Smithtown Road in southern Monongalia County. The operation would produce about 95,000 tons of concrete per year, according to an engineering evaluation from the DEP Division of Air Quality.
Local residents have been questioning the project, citing concerns about increased truck traffic, air quality and potential water quality effects.
The DEP approved a permit meant to cover stormwater runoff from construction of the plant, and it was that permit that agency inspectors say was violated, leading to the enforcement order. Still pending at the DEP are the company’s request for an air pollution permit and for a permit to cover stormwater runoff during operation of the facility.
The DEP order last week gave Wendell H. Stone Company 20 days to submit a plan to come into compliance with pollution rules.
The DEP ordered the company to stop all land disturbance at the site until compliance is achieved, and said the company must arrange for another DEP inspection to confirm compliance before any work new work begins.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-1702 or follow @kenwardjr on Twitter.