Power Plant Raises Concerns

By: Koula Gianulias
By: Koula Gianulias

Sempra Energy of San Diego wants to build a coal-fired power plant near Gerlach in the Smoke Creek Desert.
Many of the people who showed up at a public meeting tonight raised concerns about the plant.
Some even complained about the meeting itself.
Some community members were upset about the meeting format.
Well they were expecting a presentation from the Bureau of Land management on exactly what the proposed project involved, followed by a question and answer session.
But instead, the meeting was conducted as an open house.
So community members were asked to write their comments down, and submit them on paper.
There is no opportunity for any citizen to hear what other citizens have to say. That's really against our public process here in this country.
A spokesman for the BLM says he understands some people may have been frustrated with the open house format, but he says its a far more efficient way to get quality input on proposed projects, like the two-billion dollar coal-burning facility Sempra Energy wants to build about a hundred miles north of Reno.
The company says the facility will generate low-cost energy for a million and a half customers in Nevada and the western United States, to meet growing energy demands.
The most common questions raised at the four public meetings held this week were about air and water pollution. Also, concerns about where the company will get the water to run the plant. A Sempra spokeswoman says the company is in the process of a extensive water study and air quality research. She also says the plant will meet or exceed federal EPA emission standards.


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