STATUS: In progress, with opposition
OPPOSITION: Sierra Club
BACKGROUND: The developer proposed a 900 megawatt coal plant in Riesel, Texas. In July 2007, it received a final air permit for the project from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Funding was secured and site preparation began in December. Construction had commenced by April 2008. In August Sierra Club sued claiming the project had to be stopped because the developer had failed to make a maximum available control technology (MACT) demonstration for the facility. In late 2009 the U.S. District Court rejected Sierra Club’s arguments and dismissed its suit. However, in February 2010 Sierra Club appealed. At that point, the project was at peak employment and the plant more than fifty percent complete. In November, the U.S. Fifth Circuit ruled the “current and ongoing construction of a coal-fired power plant, for which no MACT determination has ever been made, violates the Clean Air Act” and remanded the case to the District Court for enforcement. It is possible all construction will be halted pending a favorable MACT determination.
LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2010