What the experts say about the petrochemicals plant construction controversy
Petrochemical engineers are facing scrutiny after a federal court in Virginia ruled on Friday that construction work at a petro chemical plant in the western U.S. was unauthorized.
A federal judge in Virginia issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday to prevent the construction of the proposed $1.8 billion Petrolia Chemical Plant from moving forward.
The court order, which was not immediately available Friday, came as the Justice Department and other federal agencies sought to stop the construction, saying it would “jeopardize national security.”
The Justice Department said it was “confident that the construction work will not be permitted and that the federal government will be able to stop it.”
The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to allow the construction to proceed.
Petrolia has been operating under a temporary license since January 2018.
The state has said the plant, which would be the nation’s largest chemical production facility, will create hundreds of jobs.
Petrochemical Industry Executive Vice President Brian Cate said in a statement that the company was “extremely disappointed” by the decision.
He said the company’s workers were “in good spirits and we appreciate the support of the local community.”
Cate said the federal judge’s order “undermines” the entire Petrolias development plan and that construction was “a blatant attempt to avoid federal oversight.”
Petrochemical plant construction has been a contentious issue for several years, with critics questioning the environmental impact of the project.
The company has said construction of a second plant will create thousands of construction jobs.
Federal Judge Jeffrey Z. Maresca said in the order that construction of Petroliahs new plant would not be considered “a ‘clean’ environmental impact analysis.”
He said the construction was the product of an “illegal construction scheme.”
The state of Virginia filed a petition in August 2017 seeking a preliminary restraining order that would stop the plant’s construction, which it said would “defraud the public, damage the environment and endanger human health and safety.”
The lawsuit said the project could result in pollution of water and air that would “deteriorate the health and well-being of millions of people.”
The case is Petroliacos case in the U.s.
District Court for the District of Columbia.