Coal, Emissions, O&M

Illinois coal-fired plant handed air permit decision

29 October 2008 — A federal appeals court sided with a judge who earlier halted construction of a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in Illinois until developers get a new air permit with stricter pollution controls. It was unclear whether the developers would appeal the ruling by the three-judge panel with the Chicago-based U.S. 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Sierra Club sued the developers, known as EnviroPower, in May 2005, alleging the project lacked a valid air permit. The proposed plant would burn coal and also mine waste for fuel.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued the developers a permit in July 2001. At the time it required the company to begin construction within 18 months and maintain continuous work at the site. Although the company failed to meet those guidelines and the permit expired, the lawsuit alleged, developers announced in late 2004 that they would begin building without getting a new, updated permit with more stringent pollution controls.