W.Va. DEP approves permit for planned medical waste incinerator in Jackson County

The facility is intended to incinerate medical waste and use the gas produced to generate power.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:49 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved a construction permit for a new medical waste incineration facility near Ravenswood.

The facility planned by Thunder Mountain Environmental Services (TMES) is intended to incinerate medical waste and use the gas produced by that process as an energy source.

The permit DEP issued yesterday signals that the planned facility falls within regulatory limits set by the Clean Air Act. The plant will have some emissions, including pollutants like carbon monoxide and hydrogen chloride.

DEP Communications Chief Terry Fletcher said those pollutants will be within acceptable levels.

Fletcher said the DEP permit is not the last step for the construction of the facility to begin. “We’re not the final say,” Fletcher said. “This is just one step in the process. We have a very limited scope as it relates to this particular permit of what rules and regulations we can take into consideration and what requirements we can make as it relates to this facility.”

According to West Virginia Rivers Ohio River Coordinator Heather Sprouse, the DEP’s permit is one of six the facility will need to incinerate medical waste. Sprouse wrote in an email that three others must come from DEP:

  • Construction Stormwater (controls stormwater runoff during construction)
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit (sets pollutant discharge limits)
  • Industrial Stormwater permit

Additionally, Sprouse wrote that the facility needs two permits from the West Virginia department of Health and Human Resources:

  • Alternative Treatment Permit
  • Commercial Medical Waste (CMW) Management Facility Permit’

DHHR denied both of these permits on Aug. 2.