Construction and permitting

An in-depth look at the pre-planning, site selection, development and permitting associated with the Ranson, WV facility.

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Navigate to additional information about our facility and investment Ranson, WV

Introduction

Jefferson County was one of 50 in a 10-state area that expressed interest in the ROCKWOOL production facility.

We met with local, county and state leadership over a dozen times during a 10-month period to determine if Jefferson County would be a good fit.

At the end of the process, we were officially invited by the County's officials to bring our investment.

We’re investing $150 million in Jefferson County to build a new state-of-the-art factory that produces environmentally-sustainable stone wool products to primarily service the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. markets.

On this page, you will learn more about our building process, from beginning pre-planning through construction below.

For information regarding the production process of stone wool, please visit the operations page.

ROCKWOOL Construction: pre-planning and site selection

We chose Ranson because of the ideal location, the minimum site size requirements, and the community

The process of finalizing our new location included a balance of qualitative and quantitative factors for short-listed communities.

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.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was officially signed with the county in September/October of 2017 and approved by the JCDA in November of 2017.

Below you can find a summary of the assessment that identified the Jefferson Orchards site as having the most favorable mix of operating costs and conditions for the new ROCKWOOL facility.

rockwool-site-selection-process-ranson-jefferson county-wv-facility

ROCKWOOL Ranson site selection qualitative and quantitative evaluation factors.

Additional information about the site selection process

During the initial acquisition process, ROCKWOOL met with the Jefferson County Development Authority (JCDA), the State of West Virginia, and the City of Ranson.

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 sent in January of 2018 to Ranson households and those within one mile of the city. 

We also published numerous articles about the project in local newspapers including The Journal, West Virginia Executive, Shepherdstown Chronicle, and the Spirit of Jefferson.

In August of 2018, ROCKWOOL voluntarily hosted a series of 4 community open houses to answer questions and address community concerns. You can find the full set of supporting documentation from the open house events to the right.

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ROCKWOOL construction details: facility development and environmental management

ROCKWOOL will have up to 250 workers on-site during project construction.

The current project estimate for is that there will be $10 million in local construction activities which will be led by our contractor Clayco, Inc.

During the construction of the foundation of the factory (target completion date is December 2018), there will be concrete truck deliveries as well as regular truck traffic delivering materials to the site.

Traffic during this period should not exceed that of the regular day-to-day when the plant is operational.

Please see below for an overview of the construction progress, transforming the former Jefferson Orchards site in preparation for ROCKWOOL.

Construction progress at ROCKWOOL Ranson site

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress October 2017.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress October 2017.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress January 2018.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress January 2018.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress April 2018.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress April 2018.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress July 2018.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV Construction Progress July 2018.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV final project rendering.

ROCKWOOL Ranson (Jefferson County) WV final project rendering.

Jobs during the construction process

Our lead contractor, Clayco, Inc., is recruiting for up to 250 full-time construction roles to support the building and construction process of the new ROCKWOOL facility in Ranson.

They are looking for varying levels of experience in positions ranging from corporate office roles to field operations positions on the project. Find out more information about any current postings for this organization by visiting our job page below.

Safety on the construction site is a top priority

ROCKWOOL ensures safety on site by requiring all contractor work be performed in accordance with the ROCKWOOL Group Construction Safety Manual.

All contractors must also participate in an orientation session and obtain work permits before being granted access badges to enter the factory site. Work hours will be from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, initially operating Monday through Friday.

For more information about the importance of safety for our organization, please watch the below video featuring ROCKWOOL Group CEO Jens Birgersson.

Jens Birgersson - Group Management
We need to look around and make sure that what we do is safe. If something we do is not safe, it's not worth doing.

Jens Birgersson

CEO, ROCKWOOL Group

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Following codes and standards

ROCKWOOL continues to work closely with the State of West Virginia, Jefferson County, the Jefferson County Economic 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.

Construction has begun on the 130-acre site in the City of Ranson with site preparation already underway. Full production at the completed ROCKWOOL facility is expected to commence in fall 2020.  

Infrastructure for operations

Jefferson County residents will benefit from the infrastructure upgrades we’re putting in place to prepare for our new facility. 

These include the construction of water connections, sewer connections, and electrical and gas connections as with any greenfield development project, whether commercial, industrial or residential.

Sewer Construction
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New Roads
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Water Lines
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We will not be reconstructing the highway bridge as it has been deemed suitable for truck traffic and is not a requirement for the new facility per confirmation from the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways (WV DoH).

This bridge was constructed in conjunction with the new Highway 9 project and was built for an orchard site receiving heavy-duty vehicles.

We do not expect the traffic load to be higher in construction compared to when we are up and running. During the construction period, we will also be in regular communication with our contractors and suppliers to focus the traffic volume outside of school pick-up and drop-off hours.

Monthly Newsletter

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Protecting the environment during construction

Plans for protecting the environment from any harmful effects during the construction and operation phases include identifying process and procedures to manage safety, stormwater, and soil. The following plans and precautions have already been taken by ROCKWOOL:

1. 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.

  • Purpose: Addresses certain hazards and provide management and site supervision with the tools necessary to conduct all construction in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Parties involved: Contractor’s Safety Program, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Industry, and Construction Regulation, federal and state regulations.

2. Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP): Identifies potential sources of pollution that may be reasonably expected to affect the quality of stormwater discharges associated with construction activities.

  • Purpose: Assures compliance with the terms and conditions listed in the stormwater permit by describing the practices, controls and Best Management Practices (BMP) to be used to minimize stormwater pollution.
  • Parties involved: West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP).

3. Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP): As a former orchard area, Jefferson Orchards was subjected to the use of pesticides. The WV DEP has since confirmed that the remaining soil has no contamination issues and does not require special precautions during construction activities.

  • Purpose: To ensure the site was clean and safe for workers and future community employees, ROCKWOOL entered the voluntary program and conducted extensive sampling of the entire site. One area was discovered during the sampling with a level of organic pesticides that exceeded allowable limits. ROCKWOOL remediated the issue by excavating approximately five truckloads of soil and transporting it to an approved landfill location. 
  • Parties involved: West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP).

Find out more about dedication to environmental stewardship by visiting our dedicated Environment page.

Monthly Newsletter

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Keep updated with the latest news and information on the ROCKWOOL development in Ranson, Jefferson County by subscribing to our eNewsletter.

The ROCKWOOL permitting process

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

There are several phases involved in building the new factory, including the following: 

Beginning with the zoning requirements, which come into play before any formal permit applications, 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, which was 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.

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 and Marshall DeMeritt

Fire Chief and EMS Chief
See the full article

Air Permit

Once the facility is operational, ROCKWOOL will be obliged to show continued compliance with regulatory requirements. The ROCKWOOL West Virginia facility will use much of the same state-of-the-art environmental abatement equipment as its sister facility in Mississippi, which has successfully complied with all federal emission standards since opening in 2014.

The stages of the ROCKWOOL air permit are summarized in the below graphic, which begins with the process description and emission abatement assessment and runs through the public commentary period and issuance of the permit to construct.

ROCKWOOL has complied with the Air Permit Engineering Evaluation process that was drafted by the WV DEP and obtained a Clean Air permit on April 30, 2018 after all requirements set forth by the Federal Clean Air Act were met.

rockwool-air-permit-stages-partnership-with-wvdep

The ROCKWOOL air permit stages in Ranson, Jefferson County includes 11 primary steps in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).

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Construction Permit

The construction stormwater permitting process is issued and managed by the WV DEP Division of Water and Waste Management. 

The site plan, which was approved by the City of Ranson following a public hearing in October of 2017, was required for this permitting process.

The Site Works Permit, which allows for the current phase of clearing and preparing of the land for construction, was approved and issued in November of 2017.

Other required building permits are broken into phases including water, wastewater, natural gas, electrical, telecom, and roads with timelines and involved parties included in the visual below.

Our General Contractor for the construction of the Ranson manufacturing facility is Clayco, Inc.

Environmental Permit

The air quality permitting process is issued and managed by the WV DEP Division of Air Quality. This permit has been issued and is known more readily as the air permit.

Other permits within the environmental category include the WV DEP National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Construction Storm Water Permit.

ROCKWOOL will also require a WV DEP National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Operating Storm Water Permit. This will be applied for following completion of the construction phase, closer to the opening of the facility. 

The only other environmental permit pending is the industrial user permit to discharge wastewater to the Charles Town Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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

Gas pipeline

Natural gas is used during the production process at ROCKWOOL factories to enhance the combustion process in melting the stones as well as for curing the insulation products. 

Mountaineer Gas has elected to service ROCKWOOL from a low-pressure line system near the factory. The gas supplier will connect to our facility via an 8-mile extension running off the broader gas network to service customers in the commercial business park where the ROCKWOOL facility is being built.

The pipeline would be approximately eight inches in diameter and would be run underground.

Please see below for an overview of existing gas pipelines and future proposals including an extension that will supply ROCKWOOL.

rockwool-gas-pipeline-current-and-proposed-projects

Overview of existing gas pipelines and proposed extensions Jefferson County, WV.

Find additional information about the ROCKWOOL project

01

About ROCKWOOL

Who is ROCKWOOL and what is stone wool insulation?

Find out answers to these questions and more with information about our organization, its history and values, and an overview on the materials we use in manufacturing.

Learn more

02

Community and Economic Impact

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

Through economic development that brings jobs for residents, opportunities for local businesses and support for local community organizations, we are focused on furthering the well-being of the community where we live and work.

Learn more

03

Jobs and Vendor Opportunities

150 jobs coming to Ranson, WV. Hiring starts in 2019.

ROCKWOOL is providing new manufacturing jobs in Jefferson County with an exceptional culture, wellness programs, investments in learning and development, and dedicated corporate social responsibility. We will also provide new vendor partner contract opportunities once the factory is in operation.

Learn more

04

Sustainability

At ROCKWOOL, sustainability is always top of mind.

Responsible business practices underpin everything we do. Sustainability is not only important for our products and brand, but also for our production process. We have ambitious targets for 2022 and 2030 to further reduce our environmental footprint in compliance with United Nations sustainability goals.

Learn more

05

Factory Operations and Production

Interested in how our stone wool insulation is made?

The ROCKWOOL manufacturing process includes an overview of insulation being made and what it’s made of, day-to-day operations of the plant and insight into the visibility, water usage and trucking and transportation impacts for Jefferson County.

Learn more

06

Environment

Protecting against factory emissions to minimize the impact on air and water quality.

The state-of-the-art technology we use meets and exceeds regulatory requirements. We've also made a commitment to ongoing third-party air monitoring that will allow you to track air quality in the area.

Learn more

Documents and resources

 

 

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ROCKWOOL Byhalia Silo Construction Correspondence 10.13.16
ROCKWOOL Byhalia Silo Construction Correspondence 10.13.16
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ROCKWOOL WV DEP Notice Regarding Permit WVR108876
ROCKWOOL WV DEP Notice Regarding Permit WVR108876
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ROCKWOOL Passive House Solutions Guide
ROCKWOOL Passive House Solutions Guide
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ROCKWOOL LEED v4 Solutions Guide
ROCKWOOL LEED v4 Solutions Guide
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ROCKWOOL Group Code of Conduct for Suppliers
ROCKWOOL Group Code of Conduct for Suppliers