Friday, October 04, 2013

Kansas' top court throws out permit for long-stalled power plant that would serve mainly Colo. co-ops

Existing plant in Holcomb (AP photo)
"The Kansas Supreme Court unanimously ruled today to scrap a key permit issued to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. for a coal-fired power project in western Kansas," Manuel Quinones reports for Environment & Energy News. The decision delivered "a victory to environmental groups that accused the state of cutting corners for political reasons," writes John Milburn of The Associated Press.

The court ruled in a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and other groups that state officials misapplied air-pollution rules in issuing the permit for a second Sunflower plant near Holcomb, which was planned mainly to serve rural electric cooperatives in Colorado that need power to serve suburban expansion. The plant could be dead, because the court said any new permit must follow new federal rules on mercury and other hazardous pollutants, and earlier this year, a federal court in Washington ruled that the plant was subject to the National Environmental Policy Act because it would be built with Rural Utilities Service loans. Sunflower comprises rural electric cooperatives.

Sunflower has been fighting to build the plant for the better part of a decade. For past coverage, click here.

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