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Ill. EPA to rethink pollution permit for Downstate coal-to-gas plant
Date:10 Jul 2012
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will reconsider an air pollution permit it granted to Tenaska Inc. in April for a coal-to-gas plant proposed for Taylorville near Springfield. Responding to the concerns of the U.S. EPA and environmental groups, the agency said it will take a second look at its decision to license the plant without requiring that its carbon dioxide emissions be captured and sequestered underground, the agency said in a filing Monday with the U.S. EPA's Environmental Appeals Board. The Nebraska-based company, which proposes to turn coal into natural gas to generate electricity, had publicly stated in appeals to the Illinois General Assembly that the plant would capture greenhouse gas emissions and inject them underground. Tenaska had asked the Illinois EPA to consider including limits for carbon dioxide in its permit. But in its final decision, the Illinois EPA did not include the limits, arguing that the technology would not be feasible. In May, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club filed an appeal, arguing that under the Clean Air Act Tenaska must use the best technology available to control its emissions -- in this case, carbon capture and sequestration.