4 months, 1 week ago From Herald-Review.com
From From Herald-Review.com:
SPRINGFIELD - A decade-long effort to build an environmentally friendly coal-burning power plant has hit another stumbling block.
In a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Springfield, the Sierra Club seeks to put the brakes on the $1.3 billion FutureGen 2.0 project until tougher permits are issued to control the potential release of pollutants.
The legal action is just the latest hiccup in a project that came of age during the Bush presidency as a way to produce power with coal without sending pollutants into the air.
The nine-page suit targets Ameren Energy Resources Co., which is a partner in the project with an alliance of multinational coal companies. The Missouri-based utility owns a now-shuttered power plant in Meredosia that will be retrofitted for the FutureGen plant.
Instead of sending emissions into the skies along the Illinois River in Western Illinois, carbon dioxide produced by the plant will be piped to a site 21 miles away near Jacksonville and deposited into a sandstone formation 3,500 feet beneath the earth's surface.
The environmental group said there are not enough regulatory safeguards in place to prevent the Meredosia plant from emitting pollutants.
"We're very skeptical that there can be anything such as clean coal." said Jack Darin, director of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club. "We need for their air and water permits to reflect that."
Ameren referred questions about the lawsuit to FutureGen, which said it is reviewing the case.
"The FutureGen 2.0 power plant in Meredosia will incorporate world class environmental control technology and will be permitted in full compliance with the Clean Air Act," FutureGen chief Ken Humphreys said Friday.