Having successfully defeated the company's previous plan for a coal-fired power plant at the site, Sevier Citizens said air-quality officials made a variety of errors in their decision-making this time, including ignoring key points during the public-comment period earlier this year. Now the group wants Department of Environmental Quality Director Amanda Smith to take a fresh look at the case and reverse the permit.
The case is one of the first two reviewed under the new administrative-review process established with SB11 in the 2012 Legislature. And like the challenge filed to the air-quality office's decision to allow the Tesoro refinery to expand, this case will be decided by the department's executive director rather than by the air-quality board, which used to handle appeals.
"Just because our county is not along the Wasatch Front does not mean that our air is, by default, clean," Cumiskey said.
The group has argued that a power plant does not belong in the area because of inversions that trap pollution in the valley. And, although the air is cleaner in the area than other parts of the state, the new power plant permit will boost pollution toward federal limits.
"This leaves virtually no room for future growth," said Cumiskey, "in addition to the health problems that are likely to be experienced by those citizens already relying on supplemental oxygen for life support."