Arkansas commission appeals ruling against coal-fired plant

The Arkansas Public Service Commission said it is appealing a court ruling that will force a proposed coal-fired plant to start over in its permit process.

The commission said it has asked the state Supreme Court to review an appellate court ruling saying Southwestern Electric Power Co., a business unit of AEP, would have to start over in its effort to get a permit for the $1.6 billion, 600 MW John W. Turk Jr coal-fired plant in southwestern Arkansas.

The appeals court granted a request from landowners to force the company to start over in the permit process, saying the commission did not follow the law when conducting hearings about an eletric-generation plant and criticized the utility’s process of choosing a site.

Commission officials said they followed the same procedure with SWEPCO’s application that they have since they received jurisdiction in 1973 to determine who gets the permits.

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