Arkansas Panel Vote Upholds Permit for Swepco Turk Power Plant

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – The utility building a $1.6 billion coal-fired power plant in southwest Arkansas has convinced a regulatory panel to let it keep its air permit.

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission voted 7-1 Friday to accept the recommendation of a hearing officer, who found that an appeal of the permit issued to Southwest Electric Power Corp. should be turned away. The Sierra Club and nearby landowners want to block the plant from opening.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals earlier threw out a separate permit issued by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, a ruling that SWEPCO is appealing to the state Supreme Court.

Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power, SWEPCO’s parent company, is building the John W. Turk plant near Fulton in Hempstead County.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.)

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