Review makes future of Kansas coal-fired power plant unclear

Kansas City StarJuly 5, 2011 

Sunflower Electric has a calendar problem.

The company has only a year left to begin construction of its controversial coal-fired plant in western Kansas, but a legal challenge to the plant’s air-quality permit is blocking progress.

Sunflower’s solution is an unusual one: Ask for a rare type of deadline extension that would allow the plant to remain under the pollution laws in effect when its permit was issued in December.

But an environmental group is challenging Sunflower’s request. The unusual extension would improperly allow the plant to avoid the stricter pollution laws that have since gone into effect, the group said.

The decision is up to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the outcome is important to the fate of the plant, experts said.

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