Groups submit application for power plant permit | News, Sports, Jobs

RENOVO – This week the Clean Air Council, PennFuture and the Center for Biological Diversity filed an appeal against an extension of the Renovo Energy Center’s air pollution permit for a large gas-fired power plant.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) extension gives the power plant developer an additional 18 months to construct the North-Central Pennsylvania power plant. DEP originally approved the gas-fired plant in April 2021,

The three groups filing the appeal believe REC failed to secure funding to move forward, according to a press release.

This extension comes amid an ongoing appeal from the same groups that are contesting the plant’s air permit, which the DEP extended in October.

In August, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board ruled in favor of the groups on that appeal, finding that the DEP had overstated pollution limits for two harmful pollutants. This legal challenge continues through the trial of other claims.

“But instead of allowing the illegal permit to lapse, DEP sent a letter to the Renovo Energy Center granting the requested extension. The DEP has done nothing to alter or repair the illegal permit.” the groups claim in a press release. “In their complaint, the environmental organizations object that the extension is unlawful because the license extended with it is unlawful and the requirements for an extension are not met.”

According to the press release, approval would authorize the plan “to emit hundreds of tons of harmful pollutants and more greenhouse gases annually than the city of Pittsburgh.”

The groups believe the facility could enforce one “Cost billions of dollars in impacts on health and communities over the lifespan.”

The power plant is being developed by Bechtel Corporation, a Virginia-based multinational engineering company.

“The extension of a permit that judges have just ruled illegal is a slap in the face to Clinton County residents and the rule of law.” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Clean Air Council, on behalf of all three environmental groups filing the appeal. “Why on earth would DEP break the law just to ensure a massive fossil fuel power plant could pollute the community air? Renewable energy is cleaner, cheaper and more abundant.”

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