ILNews

Rockport plant opponents appeal quick permit extension

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

Environmental groups opposed to a controversial coal gasification plant proposed for southwest Indiana have asked for state administrative review of a permit that was extended without a hearing on the day it was set to expire.

The Sierra Club and Valley Watch, Inc. filed a petition for administrative review of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s permit renewal because they say it was done without public notice. The groups contend notice and perhaps hearings are required under the state’s administrative code. The petition is filed with the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication.

IDEM more than 18 months ago issued a “Prevention of Significant Deterioration New Source Construction/Part 70 Operating Permit” for the facility proposed to be built in Rockport by Indiana Gasification, LLC, a subsidiary of hedge fund Leucadia National Corp. The Rockport plant project manager is Mark Lubbers, a one-time aide to former Gov. Mitch Daniels, who championed the project.

The permit issued in June 2012 was set to expire Dec. 28, 2013, according to IDEM. The petitioners say 326 IAC 2-2-8(a)(l) stipulates such permits “shall become invalid” if construction hasn’t started within 18 months. IDEM extended the permit on Dec. 26, the same day Indiana Gasification filed a permit amendment application, according to the petition. It says IDEM violated its rules in doing so.

“IDEM’s failures to follow public notice procedures or provide a justification for the extension in the Permit Amendment not only renders the Permit Amendment invalid and the PSD Permit expired, but they deprived the Petitioners their right to know and to comment upon the basis for IDEM’s decision,” the petition concludes.

IDEM spokesman Dan Goldblatt said that under the federal Clean Air Act, the agency was not required to conduct hearings on an extension that did not constitute a modification of the existing permit.

Goldblatt said in a statement Wednesday the extension request was processed pursuant to Indiana’s federally approved State Implementation Plan rule, 326 IAC 2-2-8(a), which does not require a 30-day notice and comment period. He said notice was provided to interested parties including Sierra Club and Valley Watch.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

ADVERTISEMENT