Exclusive tour: First look at Rockwool in Ranson

West Virginia

"We're all about transparency here, our doors are always open to anyone who wants to talk."

RANSON, W.Va. (WDVM)– From a bird’s eye view, the 430,000 square foot facility has been under construction since 2016, but things are starting to fall into place. 

One of the public’s main concerns about the Rockwool plant in Ranson, West Virginia are smoke stack emissions. The 215-foot tall stacks have yet to be constructed but according to Rockwool, the discharge from the stacks meets or exceeds federal and state-level environmental regulations.

“These standards in both areas are designed to protect the elderly, asthmatics and children,” said Vice President for U.S. Operations Peter Regenberg. “We are in full compliance of those standards we have modeled the emissions from this factory to be in compliance with that regulation.”

In order to prevent groundwater contamination, the Rockwool plant uses a closed-loop stormwater management system. Two man-made pond filtration sites will filter natural rainwater, and whatever isn’t filtered into the facility will remain in the ponds for later use, Rockwool officials say.

“In fact, the only residual water we have leaving the site is water from the toilets, the showers, there’s a kitchen on-site as well.” said Regenberg. “Then there’s a purification system as well where we take the water coming in from the city, take the minerals out so that water is also leaving the site.”

By the end of next year, the facility will be complete and look much like their Mississippi facility. Rockwool manufacturing is known for its fire-resistant stone-wool insulation. The location of the Rockwool plant has stirred up controversy in Jefferson County. However, Rockwool staff are inviting the public inside on tours in an effort to allay fears.

“We always invite for an open dialogue, we’ve invited the opposition to come to speak to us and invited them to come and see not just here but also our Mississippi operation,” said Regenberg. 

The facility is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2020.

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