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. Once the facility is in operation, ROCKWOOL will be 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 the project is designed and constructed to meet or exceed 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

A detailed construction process of the manufacturing facility

Construction is well underway for our new facility in Ranson with an anticipated early 2021 start of production to manufacture a full-lineup of stone wool insulation products.

The current project estimate includes approximately $10 million in local construction activities which will be led by our general contractor.

Within the construction process section, we outline an overview of the workers and process, new infrastructure, environmental protections, and development timeline. 

Construction workers and process 

During the construction there will be as many as 250 full-time construction jobs created to support our development project. Both for the workers on site and for our surrounding neighbors we are committed to ensuring a safe work environment.

We require all contractor work be performed on site in accordance with internal ROCKWOOL standards in combination with the general contractor’s rigorous safety processes.

Our standards include a requirement for a dust control plan and to ensure that noise levels at our property line do not exceed 50 dB.  

All contractors must also participate in an orientation session and obtain work permits before being granted access badges to enter the factory site. 

Video thumb RockWorld, Jens Birgersson, CEO

Safety at ROCKWOOL Group

Get more information about the importance of safety at our organization from CEO Jens Birgersson.

A statement from the fire and EMS chiefs

“We have been pleased with the proactive nature of ROCKWOOL officials in offering their help to us as we learn about the new technology on which they have based their processes.”

– Ross L. Morgan, Fire Chief, and Marshall DeMeritt, EMS Chief

RAN5 construction progress as of September 8, 2019 at our new manufacturing production facility in Ranson, Jefferson County, West Virginia (WV).

Construction update as of September 2019

ROCKWOOL has and will continue to be open and transparent about the construction of our new manufacturing facility in Ranson. Throughout the entire process, we have been following all local, state, and federal permitting requirements and regulations.

Join our mailing list

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.
Protecting the local environment in Ranson, Jefferson County, West Virginia (WV) during the construction and operation phases of the project.

In Ranson, West Virginia, we're ensuring that land, on-site workers, and the broader community are safe during the construction and operation phases of the project.

Transparency with the community 

ROCKWOOL has been and will continue to be open and transparent about the construction of our new manufacturing facility in Ranson.

Through the standards and safety processes we have in place we can assure the community that the work being done is both safe and clean. We’re also following all local, state, and federal permitting requirements and regulations.

There are several phases involved in building the new factory beginning with site preparation and proceeding through to the test and commissioning, and the start of operations. The below timeline was updated in June of 2019 providing a clear picture of our progress and the remaining schedule.

project timline

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) West Virginia construction activities and infrastructure development project timeline.