New Castle News


April 5, 2013

Pros, cons offered for gas-fueled electric plant

NEW CASTLE — Pros and cons for a proposed gas-powered electrical plant were nearly balanced at Wednesday’s public hearing.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection accepted testimony and fielded questions for the air quality permitting for the proposed Hickory Run Energy project.

Six spoke for the project and five were opposed. More than 50 people attended the North Beaver Township gathering.

The electricity plant, expected to generate 900 megawatts of power, is to be built off Route 551 in the township and would be powered from a Tennessee gas pipeline about a mile away.

LS Power of St. Louis, Hickory Run Energy’s parent company, plans to invest $75 million in the operation, which will occupy 60 acres of a 450-acre site. It is expected to begin generating in 2016 or 2017.

The venture would create about 500 construction jobs and about 25 permanent full-time jobs.

Plans call for reusing 5 million gallons per day of New Castle’s wastewater treatment plant effluent water in its cooling process, then draining it back into the Mahoning River.

Lawrence County Commissioner Steve Craig, a proponent of the project, commented, “It will use natural gas, the cleanest burning fuel available.”

Hickory Run did air dispersion modeling that took into account local terrain and weather to determine the best process, he noted. The plant will generate construction jobs, full-time employment and taxes, and will support in-state industry, he said.

“I think this is a good project. We need to generate electricity from the burning of natural gas, and that’s the best there is right now,” Craig said.

Opponents asked the DEP to extend its public review period. Written public testimony will be accepted by the DEP until April 15. Responses would be issued within 30 days after that.

“We’ll take all of this back and decide,” DEP spokesman Gary Clark said Thursday. “If there is a reason to extend the period, that will be discussed. We have a lot of questions to answer that people brought up.”

Several opposed said they don’t want the plant near their homes and expressed environmental concerns for their children. Others related their fears about possible dangers of Marcellus Shale drilling and fracking.

Russ Forsythe, an engineer retired from the West Pittsburg power plant, commented that renewable resources such as wind to generate electricity is not practical. The West Pittsburg plant would require more than 600 windmill generators to come up with the same output it has now, if the wind currents are acceptable, he said.

Linda Nitch, Lawrence County Economic Development Corp. executive director, noted the use of sanitation plant water will be the first time this process has occurred in the state.

“It will be cleaner when discharged than when it was received from the plant,” she said. “It’s a positive to the environment.”

She added the company has endeavored to buy turbines made by Siemens to ensure the facility will use products made in the USA.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

    Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.

    April 14, 2014 9 Photos

  • S_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next

    Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character.  Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • F_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 1: ’Canes’ senior finally found his way after enduring difficult living conditions in West Virginia

    First of two parts: His infectious smile can light up a room, but five years ago, Levar Ware was living in darkness. Except for his mother, concerned educators and a local attorney, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior who helped New Castle High capture its first state basketball title last month might not even have been on the team.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • money.jpg Settlement reached in City Rescue Mission lawsuit

    A lawsuit filed against the City Rescue Mission by a vision-impaired man has been settled. The case’s settlement was reported in a filing on the U.S. District Court docket Tuesday.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents want repairs to bridge

    Guardrails are expected to be installed on a Pulaski Township culvert bridge by week’s end because of residents’ safety concerns. The township-owned bridge is on Maple Lane, just west of Hilcorp Energy Co.’s Artman wellpad.

    April 10, 2014

  • N1306P46011C.TIF Agreement reached to restore Cascade Park pool

    United Way of Lawrence County will soon embark on its goal to bring back the Cascade Park swimming pool. The city of New Castle and the United Way tentatively have reached an agreement on leasing the pool to the agency, allowing it to rehabilitate the facility that has been dormant for approximately 14 years.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • razzano-1.jpg New Castle Schools: Razzano resigns in settlement with district

    Robert Razzano has resigned from his position as New Castle Junior High School principal, effective yesterday. The school board in an 8-0 vote ratified an agreement between Razzano and the district that ends his employment and allows him to collect his pay through the end of the year, an amount of $29,610.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

The driver of the car that killed Shenango Township police officer Jerry McCarthy has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. You OK with the sentence?

No. Not long enough.
No. Too long.
Not sure
     View Results