The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed a state agency's decision to issue a permit to construct a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.
Friday's unanimous decision by the justices is a setback for Sunflower Electric Power Corporation in its plans to build a second plant near Holcomb.
The justices ruled that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment failed to account for new emission standards from the federal Environmental Protection Agency that were in place at the time the permit was issued.
The EPA has proposed new carbon emissions standards for coal and gas-fired power plants built in the future. However, it's unclear whether the rule will apply to the expansion of a coal-fired plant in southwest Kansas.
If the new standards are applied to the expansion of the Sunflower electric generating station, near Holcomb, it could get expensive. The plant would likely have to capture some of the carbon it produces, and store it below ground. Sunflower’s Colorado-based partner has told the EPA the new rule should not apply because they’ve already commenced construction.