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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

  5. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

ADVERTISEMENT