After a two-year legal battle, the Marion County Superior Court affirmed an earlier ruling from the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA), a ruling that upheld the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) decision to grant a Title V air permit to Riverview Energy Corp.
The permit would enable Riverview to build the two largest hydrogen-energy generating units in the United States. The company will be the first in the nation to take non-combusted carbon feedstock (coal) mixed with hydrogen to create ultra-low-sulfur diesel that is 15% cleaner than anything on the market today. China and Russia are already using this technology.
Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life, led by Spencer County resident Mary Hess, and Valley Watch, led by Vanderburgh County photojournalist John Blair, challenged the OEA’s administrative ruling in favor of DEM’s decision to grant the permit. The adjudication court found that SICQL and Valley Watch, Inc., “have failed to provide sufficient evidence to create a general issue of material fact in this matter,” and dismissed the petition.
SICQL and Valley Watch challenged that decision, claiming the OEA put an incorrect burden of proof on them to make their case against IDEM and, according to court records, argued they only needed to provide ‘a scintilla of proof’ on administrative review to overturn IDEM’s decision.
The Marion County Superior Court disagreed, citing the OEA “demonstrates that its findings were based upon the kind of evidence that is substantial and reliable.”
“This is a win for the OEA, IDEM, Riverview Energy, the residents of Spencer County and the southwest region of Indiana – and for other industries looking to bring opportunity to Indiana,” said Riverview Energy President Greg Merle. “It’s also a reminder that while it may only take a scintilla of misinformation to generate social-media buzz and community rumor, the courts require something more substantial.
“Indiana has the opportunity to be a major player in the highly evolving global-energy market and in achieving U.S. energy independence,” Merle said. The Riverview Energy plant in Dale, Indiana is expected to create more than 2,000 high-paying jobs in the region, and hundreds of supporting jobs in the area as well.