How we chose the site location in West Virginia

The process of finding an appropriate location for our construction of a stone wool manufacturing facility is rigorous and detailed. We started with 50 proposed sites across 10 states and eventually landed on Jefferson County because of the ideal community and location that ensures we can efficiently service our markets in the eastern United States.

During the initial acquisition process, ROCKWOOL met with the Jefferson County Development Authority (JCDA), the State of West Virginia, and the City of Ranson. The site selection process concluded during the first three months of 2017 before a letter of intent was signed between ROCKWOOL and Jefferson Orchards in April with a conditional agreement. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was officially signed with the county in September of 2017.

Once the site selection was finalized, information was sent to all residents of Ranson as well as those living within a two-mile radius of the city in October of 2017. A follow-up brochure was then sent in January of 2018 to Ranson households and those within one-mile of the city. Numerous articles about the project also appeared in local newspapers including The Journal, West Virginia Executive, Shepherdstown Chronical, and the Spirit of Jefferson with information pertaining to the arrival of the ROCKWOOL facility. 

Don't have time to read the full page right now? No problem. For your convenience you can download a PDF version of our Construction and Permitting Fact Sheet and get the information you need.

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The permitting process

All permits associated with the Ranson, WV factory have been obtained in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Beginning with the zoning requirements, ROCKWOOL created an open dialogue with the City of Ranson. Both the city as well as the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP) were informed of the details involved in the air permit application process, a requirement before our organization could move forward with applying for building permits. This collaborative approach also included working in partnership with the Shepherdstown Fire Department which services Jefferson Orchard where the new facility is being built.

There are three primary levels of permits required for our manufacturing facility and those are the air permit, along with construction permits, and environmental permits, which are outlined below in greater detail: 

  • Air Permit: We demonstrated compliance as outlined in the Air Permit Engineering Evaluation drafted by the WV DEP. The Permit to Construct was obtained on April 30, 2018 after all requirements set forth by the Federal Clean Air Act were met. Now that the facility is in operation, ROCKWOOL is obliged to show continued compliance to regulatory requirements with frequent reporting to industry regulators. Our West Virginia facility will use much of the same emissions abatement equipment as its sister facility in Mississippi, which has successfully complied with all state and federal emissions standards since operations started in 2014.
  • Construction Permits: Three sets of permits were required under the umbrella of construction permitting. This included the construction stormwater permit, which is issued and managed by the WV DEP Division of Water and Waste Management; the Site Works Permit, which granted permission to prepare the land for construction; and building permits, which are broken into several components including foundations, structural and a comprehensive building permit. These are handled by our contractors during construction.
  • Environmental Permits: There are several environmental permits, the first of which is issued and managed by the WV DEP Division of Air Quality outlining requirements for Construction and Major Modification of Major Stationary Sources for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality. The Multi-Sector Stormwater General Permit for Industrial Activities will cover compliance with water quality safeguards that have been installed in West Virginia to protect against stormwater pollution during operations. 

ROCKWOOL continues to work closely with the State of West Virginia, Jefferson County, the Jefferson County Development Authority and the City of Ranson to ensure that our facility meets or exceeds building code and environmental standards. 

The sidebar provides several resources pertaining to the permitting process of our facility. We would also encourage you to visit the WV DEP ROCKWOOL project landing page. This page has been specifically setup to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the communications and permits associated with gaining the necessary approvals for our facility, in addition to the voluntary remediation program that we undertook to clean up and prepare the land for safe construction. 

The ROCKWOOL air permit approved by WVDEP met strict state and federal standards that are protective of human health and the environment

“Based on all available information that we have gathered and that we have reviewed, we see no threat to the health of our citizens and no threat to our environment.”

– Austin Caperton, WVDEP Cabinet Secretary, following approval from WVDEP on ROCKWOOL air permit.

ROCKWOOL has followed all the required procedures during the permitting process and the WVDEP will continue to review and make certain that the law is followed and that the health of our citizens and the environment remain as the top priority.

Jim Justice

West Virginia Governor
See full statement

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Keep up-to-date on news and announcements, project information, and job postings from the ROCKWOOL development in Ranson, Jefferson County by subscribing to our Newsletter.


Protecting the environment during construction

We invest in the communities in which we operate to protect them from any harmful effects during the construction and operation phases of the project. Our plans for the protection of the local environment consistent of three components:

  1. Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP): As a former orchard area, Jefferson Orchards was subjected to the use of pesticides. To ensure the site was cleaned up and safe for workers and future community employees, ROCKWOOL entered the voluntary program and conducted extensive sampling of the entire site and a cleanup of one area that was excavated and moved to an approved landfill location. The WV DEP has since confirmed that the remaining soil has no contamination issues and does not require special precautious during construction activities.
  2. Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP): Establishes the criteria and procedures for the analysis, development, implementation, training, auditing and evaluation of safety procedures tailored to conditions present and by the work scope of the project.
  3. Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP): Identifies potential sources of pollution that may affect the quality of storm-water discharges and control of sinkholes during construction activities.



Who is ROCKWOOL and what is stone wool insulation?

Founded as a family business, ROCKWOOL has always been committed to strengthening the communities of which we are a part. Today, we are the world’s leading manufacturer of stone wool insulation. Find out about our company history, North American presence, and leadership in the field of fire safety.


Community and Economic Impact

We seek to make a positive impact in the City of Ranson and more broadly in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

By building our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ranson, we are committing to making a long-term and positive impact on the economy of Jefferson County. The $218 million investment includes $64 million in payroll and $4 million in taxes over the first 10 years, in addition to the community support we have already started to provide through partnerships with local organizations.


Jobs Opportunities

Manufacturing jobs and employment coming to Jefferson County, WV.

We are proud to be bringing 150 new manufacturing jobs to Ranson that will provide local workers the opportunity to build meaningful careers in manufacturing a product that is used worldwide to create safe and more sustainable living environments. At ROCKWOOL, we offer employees an attractive benefits package, investments in learning and development, and a supportive workplace culture.



At ROCKWOOL, sustainability is always top of mind.

While manufacturing any product requires using resources, we are focused on ensuring our products leave the smallest footprint possible during production while delivering the biggest benefit during their use. To accomplish this, we have committed to several UN Sustainable Development Goals and are proud to say that during the lifetime of its use, the building insulation we sold in 2018 will save 100 times the carbon emitted in its production.


Factory Operations and Production

Interested in how the day-to-day operations of our facilities and how our stone wool insulation is made?

ROCKWOOL’s new manufacturing facility will produce stone wool insulation for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. Stone wool is a natural product made mostly from volcanic rocks, which are supplemented with recycled mineral wool and slag from the steel industry during production. Get an inside look at our facilities and how insulation is made.



We're protecting the local environment during construction and operations of our manufacturing facility in Ranson.

We have an unbreakable commitment to meeting and exceeding the environmental protection standards set by government and regulators wherever we operate globally, and our facility in WV will be no different. This includes limits established to protect the health of sensitive populations such as children, the elderly and asthmatics, and we continue to invest in state-of-the-art abatement technologies to further reduce any impact.

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