STATUS: In progress with opposition; litigation
OPPOSITION: National Parks Conservation Association; Group Against Smog and Pollution; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Sierra Club
BACKGROUND: In 2003 the developer proposed a 525 megawatt waste coal plant in Greene County, Pennsylvania. The air emissions permit was issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2005. Construction began in 2006. Due to unexpected site conditions, the original permit was extended to give the company until December 2011, five years from the date construction began, to complete the project. Plant opponents, including Sierra Club, claim the plant will emit dangerous levels of hazardous air pollutants and that the permit is void because construction had not commenced in a timely manner. Their suit was dismissed but the judge denied the developer’s claim for legal fees because the claim was not “frivolous, groundless, pursued in bad faith, or maintained after its baselessness became apparent.”
Construction continues and a hearing is scheduled on December 7, 2010 for public testimony on DEP’s preliminary determination to extend the permit for five years and to modify certain permit conditions to limit emissions of hazardous air pollutants to keep the facility below major source thresholds.
LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2010