Environmentalists want Kansas coal-fired power plant halted

The Kansas City StarMarch 2, 2011 

An environmental group demanded Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency halt construction of a coal plant in western Kansas.

Earthjustice, an environmental law firm that represents the Sierra Club, sent a letter to Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 administrator, making a formal demand that Brooks object to a permit issued by the state to build the Sunflower Electric Power Corp. plant.

The permit for Sunflower’s plant issued in December “fails to meet the minimum requirement of the Clean Air Act and fails to adequately protect human health and the environment,” the Earthjustice letter said.

In a statement Tuesday to the media, EPA Administrator Brooks wrote that the issues raised by the nonprofit echo concerns raised by a letter Brooks wrote last month to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which issued the permit.

On Feb. 3, Brooks asked state health department officials to set up a meeting “in the very near future and begin a constructive dialogue about how to resolve EPA’s concerns” that the permit’s emission rates are higher than federal law allows.

The Kansas department has yet to schedule a date for that meeting, but on Tuesday, department Secretary Robert Moser said he looked forward to continued dialogue with EPA.

“KDHE takes the obligation to protect the air quality for all citizens of Kansas very seriously,” Moser said.

To read the complete article, visit www.kansascity.com.

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