Nevada agency slates hearing on coal plant

CARSON CITY -- The state Division of Environmental Protection has scheduled a hearing Wednesday in Ely on its technical evaluation of a permit sought by Sierra Pacific Resources for a proposed coal-fired power plant in eastern Nevada.

The agency is evaluating the company's air pollution control permit application for the proposed Ely Energy Center to determine whether it meets state and federal clean air standards. A draft permit for the plant has been out for public comment since early November.

Greg Remer, chief of the agency's air pollution control bureau, said people may submit technical comments at the hearing and ask questions about the proposed plant's ability to meet clean-air standards.

But Remer added the hearing is not "a town meeting on whether they oppose or support the construction of the plant, and it won't be a forum to air concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and global warming."

Remer added that there are now no federal or state clean-air standards or regulations that govern carbon dioxide emissions or other greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The plant is one of three coal-fired plants proposed for eastern Nevada, near the Utah border. All have been questioned by environmental groups and others, both in Nevada and Utah. Also, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has opposed the plants.