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Company hires lawmaker as project draws community ire

July 24, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The majority whip of the West Virginia House of Delegates has been hired by a company that’s building a controversial manufacturing plant in his district.

Rockwool on Tuesday announced it has hired Republican Del. Paul Espinosa as public affairs manager.

The company is building a coal- and gas-fired manufacturing plant across the road from North Jefferson Elementary School. It would create stone wool insulation and emit potentially hazardous materials through smokestacks.

There has been criticism against the project from opponents who say there shouldn’t be such a facility near a school.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has said there’s no evidence the plant will hurt human health or the environment.

Espinosa says Rockwool has met all government requirements and has been transparent with residents and elected officials.

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