Update On White Stallion Coal Plant

Back in May I issued a statement on our court win against the While Stallion coal-fired power plant being proposed in Matagorda County, Texas.  The motion we filed against White Stallion was regarding their use of two conflicting site plans for air permit applications with US Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 

On Monday, June 20, 2011, Judge Lora Livingston of the Travis County District Court entered EDF’s proposed order to require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to take additional evidence on White Stallion’s coal-fired power plant air permit application.

This means our motion for remand is now formalized and has specific action associated with it. (See the order here)

The additional evidence will show that White Stallion played “bait and switch.”   We know that six days after TCEQ’s air permit decision White Stallion significantly altered its site plan in an effort to win a different permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.  If White Stallion waited until after TCEQ’s air permit decision to change site plans, it made a mockery of TCEQ air permit hearings – the air emissions evidence taken was not on the power plant White Stallion intends to build. 

It’s important to mention that the change in site plans warrants re-notice of the entire permit application under Texas Health & Safety Code § 382.0291(d).  Otherwise, as the District Court said, “the public will not be afforded meaningful participation in the permit application review process” of White Stallion’s actual proposed power plant.

As this process moves forward, we’ll keep you updated.

Special thanks to lead EDF counsel Tom Weber and Paul Tough of McElroy, Sullivan & Miller.  As well as Pete Schenkkan of Graves Dougherty who assisted in the district court briefing and argument.

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    Vice President, US Climate and Energy
    Jim Marston is the founding director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), located in Austin, where he has served since its beginning in 1988. He is also a leader of the Pecan Street, Inc., a partnership that includes Austin Energy, the University of Texas, the Chamber of Commerce, and several large high/clean tech companies aimed at making fundamental changes in the nation's electricity grid.

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