Local health and environment advocates want state regulators to monitor Sevier County's air pollution before finalizing a permit for a power plant in Sigard. In a letter released Monday, they ask county commissioners to join them in making the request.
"If they do not choose to do an actual study of the air here, we may be forced to challenge the permit," said Dick Cumiskey, president of Sevier Citizens for Clean Air and Water.
The proposed 580-megawatt electric plant would generate an estimated 977 tons of pollution each year, but critics say no one really knows what the impact will be because current pollution levels haven't been monitored. Plant proponents originally planned to use coal back in 2001 a project that would generate an estimated 3,000 tons of pollution a year but they abandoned that idea after the citizen's group successfully challenged the air-pollution permit issued by state regulators.