Winchester residents that enjoy clean air and water need to be aware of the serious health threat that toxic mega-polluter, Rockwool, poses by building an insulation factory in Jefferson County, W.Va. The local officials in Jefferson County have not only failed the residents of Jefferson County but all of the surrounding counties of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. By choosing to build their insulation factory across from an elementary school and in a community that did not consent, Rockwool has shown that it is a brand that cannot be trusted.

Rockwool touts its product as “green” when they plan to use 90 tons of coal and 1.64 million cubic feet of fracked gas every day to manufacture their product, creating new markets for coal and fracked gas in West Virginia. The LEED certification process only considers how their product performs in homes and buildings but not the carbon foot print created by the manufacture process itself. It is this flaw in the process that allows Rockwool to “greenwash” their product. Resist Rockwool will be addressing this flaw in the certification process with the USGBC as well as targeting retailers that carry Rockwool’s product.

Resist Rockwool has just launched a global boycott of Rockwool and in the months to come, we will see a divestment campaign as well. As disappointing as it is to see local officials fail us so completely, it is encouraging to see every day people take their power back and fight for our children’s health and for our future generations who will face the devastation of climate change and pollution.

Kira Young

Frederick County

(3) comments

Don Specht

" ... toxic mega polluter ... " This sort of hyperbole is why Toxic Rockwool is not respected as a source of info. Five years from now Rockwool will be up and running and the county will have forgetten the misplaced efforts of a few environmental justice warriors who joined the battle after it was over.

Don Specht

Star readers should take the time to read their sister publication, the Martinsburg Journal, for a more complete picture. For instance the Jefferson County School Board was stopped in it's legal tracks when they tried to condemn the property on which the Rockwool plant is being built. Rockwool has been more than patient and generous as this inept display played out. "“Rockwool reaffirms its commitment to fully fund an air monitoring program to run through Dec. 31, 2022, with the BOE agreeing to the installation of air monitors at North Jefferson and TA Lowery Elementary Schools,” the release said. “Further, Rockwool will contribute $250,000 toward the Board of Education's purchase of a property for its proposed Regional Student Support Center.”"

Don Specht

I am also disappointed that the author above failed to point out that North Jefferson Elementary was built on orchard land contaminated by years of spraying, and saw fit to drill a well on the same contaminated property to service the school. Now the anti-Rockwool factions are fighting the construction of a fresh water pipeline that will sevice the industrial-zoned land along Rt 9, the Rockwool plant, at least one residential development, and North Jefferson Elementary.

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