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LS Power, Elk Run Energy Station, IA

STATUS:  Canceled

TYPE: Coal

OPPOSITION:  Iowa Sierra Club, Plains Justice, local citizens

PROSPECTS:  Unlikely

BACKGROUND:  In 2006, LS Power proposed to build the Elk Run Energy Station, a $1.3 billion, 750-megawatt pulverized-coal power plant located five miles outside of downtown Waterloo, Iowa. The Waterloo development economic agency heavily courted LS Power for the project, as an economic impact study, performed by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance stated that the plant would create 1,500-plus construction and other jobs and pump $67 million a year into the local economy over the four-year construction period. Additionally, the plant would add $25.8 million a year to the economy once operational.

Citizens and environmental groups mobilized in opposition citing health, environmental, and land use concerns.  A public hearing on LS Power's annexation and rezoning request for the proposed $1.3 billion 750-MW coal-fired power plant was held on April 3, 2007 before the Waterloo Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission. Several hundred local residents appeared in opposition to the proposal.  In June, 2007, LS filed for a draft air quality permit with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  On October 11, 2007, the Iowa City Development Board (ICDB) voted 3-2 to reject the application by the City of Waterloo to annex 345 acres of farmland, belonging to non-consenting owners, for plant construction.  The mayor of Waterloo announced that the city would appeal the ICDB’s decision.

In March 2008, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources denied a construction permit for the plant because the developers had not secured zoning approval for the project.  In May 2008, Waterloo's City Council approved an ordinance to annex and rezone the needed land. In June 2008, Iowa's Department of Natural Resources received LS Power's revised air permit application.  However, in December 2008, the company announced that it was reevaluating its role in developing new power plants, including Elk Run, citing tightening credit markets and regulatory uncertainty.

On January 3, 2009, it was reported that the joint venture between Dynergy and LS Power was dissolved, with LS Power retaining the rights to the Elk Run facility.  Then, on January 9, 2009, LS announced that it was cancelling plans to build the plant due to the economic downturn.

SOURCES: http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/2934287
http://cleanairwaterloo.com/waterloo.php 
http://www.sierraclub.org/environmentallaw/coal/victories.aspx#iowa 
http://wcfcourier.com/news/top_story/article_39740fe0-1a00-57d0-a39a-68932ae7b90e.html 
http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/article_f35b909c-19ad-5bc1-8bc4-0fc14ba5d85f.html 
http://iowaindependent.com/884/state-commission-considers-century-farm-annex-to-waterloo-coal-plant
 
Last Updated on November 22, 2010