Kansas gives go-ahead again to new coal plant

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2007 file photo, Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in Holcomb, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, file)
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2007 file photo, Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in Holcomb, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, file)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – A state regulator has given the go-ahead again for the construction of a $2.8 billion coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser on Friday approved changes in a 2010 pollution-control permit for the project for Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. The changes were mandated by a Kansas Supreme Court ruling last year in a lawsuit filed by environmentalists.

Sunflower wants to build an 895-megawatt plant for generating electricity near Holcomb, where it already has an existing coal-fired power plant. Environmentalists have long fought the project.

The decision comes only days before the federal Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue new, tougher regulations for power plants.

Moser said the new plant would meet all current federal and state air-quality regulations.

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