permit for power plant could be years away
by Mark Vasto
Platte County residents worried about
pollution from a proposed coal-fired power plant in
Iatan will have a chance to air out their concerns next
Thursday, Jan. 8 at West Platte High School cafeteria
in Weston. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and will
be hosted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Were going to be there and
we have a lot of questions, said Susan Brown,
chairperson of the power plant commitee for Concerned
Citizens of Platte County, a local organization which
opposes the plant.
Specifically, we want to know what
is going into the landfill, what is the toxicity level
of the waste, the possibility that the waste could leech
into our water supply and whether or not they are using
the best available pollution control technology.
Unfortunately for Brown and residents,
already frustrated at their perceived inability to have
suitable public discourse on the power plant project,
this meeting will not be open to public comment either.
This is just a public awareness
meeting designed to outline the permitting process,
Steven Wyatt, an enviromental engineer for MODNR , told
The Landmark. Its an open house kind of
meeting... well have some handouts and a powerpoint
presentation describing the stages (of the process)
but there will be no public comment.
The MODNR is charged with approving air
and solid waste permits for the proposed plant.
Wyatt said that representatives from Great
Plains Power, the company who plans on building the
power plants, may be in attendance at the meeting but
they would not present information or answer public
questions at the meeting.
They might be there, but this is
our show, Wyatt said. The show will
not feature any information on the environmental impact
the plant will have. The Weston meeting will only focus
on the permitting application for the solid waste portion
of the plan.
Wyatt, who only works with the solid waste
portion of the site, described a process that could
take years before a permit would be issued.
The permit can take anywhere between
two and two and half years to acquire, depending on
how soon they jump on the geological studies,
The geological portion of the process
calls for boring into the proposed site and monitoring
ground water levels for a minimum of 12-months so as
to measure potential impacts to the areas water
Great Plains Power officials, who did
not return repeated phone calls, have said they arent
certain if the plant will be built at all but have also
stated that any construction for the plant would begin
in late 2004. The company put in a preliminary site
request to the MODNR on Sept. 11, 2003.