Air permit granted for 600 MW coal-fired plant

17 December 2008 -- South Carolina's health and environmental authority has approved air permits for a 600 MW, $1.25 billion coal-fired power plant proposed by state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

The permit allows Santee Cooper to build a plant on the Great Pee Dee River with two coal-fired boilers. Under the permit, Santee Cooper will be required to monitor mercury output at the plant and conduct a six-month study to see if emissions can be further reduced.

Santee Cooper is still awaiting several other permits, including an environmental impact statement and wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Decisions on those could come in the first half of 2009.

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