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January 31, 2006
Press Release: Sierra Club considers challenge to KCPL’s newest permit Calls for full investigation into KCPL’s apparent violation of its operating permit for Iatan I.

Sierra Club has learned that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued KCPL a construction permit for Iatan II on Tuesday, January 31, 2006.  This permit was issued in spite of recent revelations that KCPL has been operating Iatan I in violation of its permit and spewing many more tons of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide into the air and into the community than their permit allows.  The additional pollution causes more smog and acid rain and puts the community at higher risk for asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments.

We are very disappointed the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has issued KCPL a permit for an additional polluting power plant without doing a thorough investigation into the allegations.  If the company has violated the terms of a previous permit, is doesn’t seem reasonable to just issue them another one.

Sierra Club calls for a full investigation into the violations outlined by Washington University Law School, and we will use every means at our disposal to see that an independent investigation occurs.

Sierra Club considers challenge to permit

As outrageous as the issuance of this permit is, it is simply the next step in a long process KCPL must negotiate to actually build this power plant.  Missouri Sierra Club will consider its legal options for initiating an appeal within the administrative process to ensure the highest standards of protection of public health are incorporated into the construction permit for the proposed power plant, in accordance with the Clean Air Act, such as installation of dedicated equipment to control mercury emissions.

In addition, Missouri Sierra Club is challenging the Missouri Public Service Commission’s order approving the Stipulation & Agreement worked out by KCPL & its biggest customers. This includes approval of Iatan II and a financing plan, with a series of rate cases on conditions favorable to KCPL.  Rate payers are being asked to absorb a 22% rate increase to pay for KCPL’s $1.3 Billion plan that locks the community into a dirty coal-burning power plant for the next 30-50 years.  The agreement ignores future cost to rate payers sure to occur to reduce mercury emissions and carbon dioxide emissions (global warming gas) and ignores cheaper, cleaner energy alternatives.\

The Missouri Sierra Club, representing the broader interests of citizens of the Kansas City Region continues to oppose KCPL’s plans for a new coal-burning power plant on the grounds that energy needs for the region can be met more responsibly with cleaner, cheaper, and safer 21st century technology.

Clean Air and Energy Campaign

Missouri Sierra Club is leading the way with its Clean Air & Energy Campaign that focuses on Missouri’s long-term energy future and seeks to:

  1. Promote clean energy options in Missouri—primarily efficiency and wind—as cleaner, more affordable and safer solutions to long-term energy needs;
  2. Prevent the construction of proposed new coal-burning power plants in Missouri;
  3. Reduce emissions from existing coal-burning power plants; and
  4. Promote a balanced energy portfolio for all utilities in Missouri.

Both wind energy and efficiency are clean energy alternatives that power the economy without causing pollution, generating hazardous waste or emitting global warming gasses. Not only that, but they would cost consumers much less over the long-term, create more jobs and ensure a cleaner healthier Kansas City.

Three new coal-burning power plants have been proposed in Missouri. The long-term impact of committing to three or more new coal-burning power plants in Missouri is significant in that these decisions will affect:

Missouri Sierra Club has also been instrumental in the introduction of Renewable Energy Standards legislation in the Missouri legislature that will require utilities to incorporate renewable energy sources into their total energy portfolio.