CUMBERLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Plans are being finalized for a natural gas power plant next to a new medical marijuana operation.
The plans just cleared a big environmental hurdle with the state, a move local leaders hope will bring them closer to much-needed jobs.
Like most of Cumberland Township, the site near Nemacolin is quiet, peaceful and serene.
But next year, it could look very different with plans for a natural gas power plant moving forward.
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"At the end of the day we'll have 25-30 new jobs in the township, which we always need and are happy to have," said Ann Bargerstock with Cumberland Township Code Enforcement.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued an air quality permit to Hill Top Energy Center, which will build the plant on Thomas Road.
The move comes after several months of planning and hearings with local leaders and residents.
Cumberland Township Code Enforcement Officer Ann Bargerstock expects the plant will have a minimal impact on the environment.
"They've been extremely cooperative," she said. "They've worked very well with us and complied with everything we've asked of them so far."
While the prospect of new jobs is appealing for residents and politicians alike, there's still a concern about what it could mean for air quality.
"As long as it's not like some of the major cities where you can actually smell the smog when you come in," Timothy Kelley said. "As long as it's not like that, it shouldn't harm the environment."
If approved, construction could begin as early as next fall.
Cumberland Township will have to give final approval before the project can move forward, but leaders told Channel 11 they don't anticipate any major roadblocks.
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