Thought the Kansas coal battle was over?

Think again.

Yes, Governor Mark Parkinson signed a backroom agreement with Sunflower Electric Power Corporation to build a gigantic new coal-fired power plant in western Kansas, but environmentalists aren’t giving up yet. Last week, the Kansas Sierra Club and EarthJustice sent a strongly worded letter to Rod Bremby, Kansas’ Secretary of Health and Environment.

Bremby is the one who has to sign off on Sunflower’s air permit and the Sierra Club doesn’t want him to simply rubber stamp the deal brokered by Governor Parkinson. Because three years have elapsed since Sunflower submitted its original permit and since the new plant is an entirely different configuration than the original proposal, the group want more public hearings.

“The public must be given the opportunity to comment on all aspects of a new draft permit,”

the letter argues. “The review process for a different facility conducted years ago cannot satisfy KDHE’s legal obligation to provide public process for this permit application.”

Stephanie Cole, an organizer for the Kansas Sierra Club, says KDHE has agreed to review and consider their request. In the meantime, if you’re inspired to write your own letter to Bremby, here’s his address: Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Curtis State Office Building, 1000 Southwest Jackson, Topeka, KS 66612

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