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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Future Power Plants Only Need To Meet Environmental Standards, Not Need

LANSING - Future power plants will only have to show that they meet state and federal environmental standards, not that the plant is actually needed, Natural Resources and Environment Director Dan Wyant said Friday after issuing permits for a new plant in Holland.

Wyant, in an interview with Gongwer News Service, said two courts had already rejected the criteria added by the Granholm administration, and the Snyder administration would not be asking for the additional information on projected load and potential alternatives to the proposed plant.

"Going forward, we will again take a look at any permit that is brought to us," Wyant said.

The Holland Board of Public Works plant approved Friday was one of several to see permits rejected by the Granholm administration for not demonstrating need for the new plant, but the Ottawa Circuit Court had rejected the additional criteria for issuing the permits and ordered the application be reconsidered.

The department found, as it had in the prior review, that the proposed 78-megawatt coal plant, met air quality requirements. The new plant is proposed to be built at the site of an existing plant in Holland.

Courts had also ruled the state was wrong to reject a permit application by Wolverine Power Cooperative, but Wyant said the cooperative had not yet indicated whether it still wanted to move ahead with the plant.

Environmental groups pushed earlier this week for the department to again reject the Holland permit in favor of renewable power options, arguing they would cost less over time than the new power plant.

"We are deeply disheartened by the Governor Snyder's Department of Environmental Quality's decision to rescind its original denial of an air permit for the Holland Board of Public Work's proposed expansion to the James De Young Plant," Clean Water Action, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club said in a joint statement. "While the DEQ granted the air permit to the Holland Board of Public Works today, what has not changed is that the proposed coal plant is a bad idea for ratepayers, jobs, and public health."

This story was provided by Gongwer News Service. To subscribe, click on Gongwer.Com


Author: Staff Writer
Source: Gongwer News Service

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