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January 9,  2006
Press Release: Missouri Sierra Club Files Appeal on Decision by Air Conservation Commission to approve Springfield Utilities Air Pollution Permit

Columbia, MO – Friday the Missouri Sierra Club announced it is appealing the state’s decision to approve a dirty coal-burning power plant in Springfield, Missouri. “At a time of rising asthma rates and health advisories on eating mercury contaminated fish, this outdated project takes Missouri in the wrong direction,” declared, Carla Klein, Ozark Chapter Director. “We are opposed to this dirty coal plant because there are clean 21st Century energy alternatives that don’t jeopardize our health, our environment, and our pocketbooks.”

The Sierra Club is appealing the state’s approval of the coal plant because it did not require the City to use modern pollution controls that are already being used in other states. “There are modern technologies available that would eliminate upwards of 90% of the harmful pollution allowed by the State,” said Klein. “For example, Governor Blagojevich of Illinois, just announced his state will require new coal plants to install mercury pollution controls to cut pollution by 90%. The Springfield coal plant is not required to install any pollution control technology to remove this toxic pollutant.

The proposed Springfield coal plant has previously been rejected by the City’s voters. It is disappointing when public interest groups have to seek a courts ruling to ensure that citizens’ rights and health are being protected. “Why is the City continuing to push this expensive dirty coal plant on the residents of Springfield?” asked Linda Chipperfield, local representative working for cleaner, cheaper energy options.

“The Missouri Sierra Club is fighting on behalf of our members in the Springfield area, and for future generations. When a project will degrade our air and water quality for the next fifty years we cannot afford to let this project slide by,” concluded Klein. “We look forward to a prompt resolution of this matter.”