“Death knell”? Obama’s EPA decides against Big Stone II power plant


A week after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved transmission lines needed to build the 500 megawatt coal-fired Big Stone II power plant near the South Dakota border, the Environmental Protection Agency has opposed issuing a permit for operation of the facility. The Obama administration’s EPA, on the last day of the application review process, cited “inadequate emissions monitoring and other problems,” according to MPR. The objections could kill the project altogether; according to South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman Dusty Johnson, they’re the “death knell” for Big Stone II. The EPA’s move, which overturns the South Dakota PUC’s ruling, “signals that the dozens of other coal plant proposals currently in permitting processes nationwide will face a new level of federal scrutiny,” according to the Sierra Club, which has long opposed the project.

Read the EPA’s decision here [pdf 1, pdf 2].