Today, clean air advocates urged the Environmental Protection Agency to formally object to the recently-issued permit for the Sunflower coal plant. EPA is being asked to require the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to amend the permit; if KDHE refuses, the letter asks EPA to prevent construction of the unlawful coal plant.
According to Earthjustice and the Sierra Club:
“The final permit, issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on December 16, 2010, fails to meet the minimum requirements of the Clean Air Act and fails to adequately protect human health and the environment.”
Among the issues raised by clean air advocates:
- The permit fails to comply with national standards for limiting nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide pollution.
- The permit fails to adequately limit hazardous air pollutants, which are the most harmful to human health—even in small amounts.
- The permit fails to require legally adequate pollution control technology for numerous other pollutants that harm human health.
Earthjustice and Sierra Club have been raising issues about the Sunflower coal plant for years.
“While KDHE went to great lengths to appease Sunflower and their supporters—even working overtime in an obvious attempt to enable the project to escape greenhouse gas regulations—KDHE ignored input from Kansas citizens and the EPA,” said Stephanie Cole of Sierra Club.
“The EPA cannot disregard an unlawful permit under any circumstance, but especially not in a case where the EPA itself is already on record identifying deficiencies in the permit and asking that they be corrected. In this case, the EPA is obligated to take action,” said Amanda Goodin, an attorney with Earthjustice.