‘Rockwool Go Away’: Community shares concerns about Rockwool with Danish television station
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Hundreds of Rockwool protesters filled Town Run Tap House and Community Pub on Tuesday evening, as two representatives from a Danish television news station visited the restaurant to gather information and record interviews about the Rockwool controversy with community members.
The television producer and reporter stayed for the first hour of the event, before heading out to edit the content they recorded, which was set to air the next day on their 24-hour government-owned subscription news station, TV 2. As the team gathered fact sheets and finished their interviews, some of Jefferson County Vision’s leaders expressed what they hope will result from this publicity.
“I’m about two miles from the site, and my son would go to the school near it,” said Lori Maloney, of Kearneysville, about the Denmark-based company. “Having the attention of the Danes right now, this week, is such a motivating factor for our community. We want the Danes to know we don’t want this level of pollution in our country, if they didn’t want this level of pollution in their country. If it’s not good enough for them, it’s not good enough for us.
“My understanding, is they were prompted to come here, because of the action at the Danish embassy last week by Rockwool protesters,” Maloney said, referring to the March 28 protest, which ended with 20 people being arrested. “And Jefferson County residents went to talk in [Roskilde, Denmark] to Rockwool shareholders at a shareholders conference. That may have made them more aware of the extent of Rockwool’s behavior.”
Amanda Foxx, of Ranson, agreed with Maloney, mentioning the key point she anticipated the news station would have learned at the gathering.
“Rockwell acted with our government in a way that inhibited public comment in the democratic process,” Foxx said.
According to Chris Kinnan, of Shepherdstown, he hoped the intentions of the protesters were clear to the news team.
“Jefferson County Vision has always been fighting the process that brought Rockwool here, not Rockwool itself. But the fight has escalated, to expose their practice in getting here,” Kinnan said. “The company’s behavior has been outrageous here — they worked in secret with the government to determine their own zoning, their own tax laws. They threatened our own government with a million dollar lawsuit.”
While many of the event participants have been involved with the controversy since the construction of the Rockwool insulation plant in Jefferson County became a matter of public concern last June, some were new to joining the movement, including Shepherdstown resident Gail McMillion.
“We saw this was going on and decided it was the right thing to do, for a good cause — and it was worth it,” McMillion said, of coming to the event with her daughter. “I work full time, so I wanted to stay home, but I couldn’t resist coming down.
“I don’t know if it will make a difference, but I sincerely hope that it will,” McMillion said.