Kansas court ponders greenhouse gas limits for 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)

TOPEKA, KanSAS (AP) – An environmental group is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to require state limits on greenhouse gas emissions for a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas before it is built.

The court heard arguments Thursday from attorneys in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club in 2014 after the state Department of Health and Environment signed off on the $2.8 billion project.

Sunflower Electric Power Corp. wants to build the facility next to an existing coal-fired plant outside Holcomb.

KDHE issued a permit in 2010, just before the federal government began regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentalists challenged it and in 2013, the Supreme Court sent the permit back to KDHE.

The department issued what it calls an addendum to the 2010 permit and contends greenhouse gas emissions limits aren’t required.

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