Another front in SWEPCO fight | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another front in SWEPCO fight

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 1:54 PM

The Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas today sued in federal court to stop construction of the SWEPCO power plant in Hempstead County. The suit, against the Corps of Engineers, argues that the Corps failed to comply with the law in granting a permit to fill wetlands and take water from the Little River.

NEWS RELEASE

Little Rock, AR – On Thursday, February 11, Audubon and Sierra Club filed suit in US District Court in the Western District of Arkansas, Texarkana Division against the US Army Corps of Engineers.   

In a tele-press conference on Thursday, the organizations put forth reasoning for why the suit is necessary to protect Arkansas’ environment.  Lev Guter, associate field organizer with the Sierra Club stated, “We are committed to fighting Turk as long as it takes and this is the next step in continuing that fight.  The ongoing construction of Turk poses serious risks to the ecosystem and wetlands where the proposed Turk coal-fired plant is being built.  Every day that construction continues means that more wetlands will be destroyed.”  

The Southwestern Electric Power Company’s (SWEPCO) proposed John W. Turk, Jr. 600 MW coal fired plant sits on 2,800 acres of previously forested land that contains wetlands. 

Attorney for Sierra Club and Audubon Richard Mays stated, “The plaintiffs in this case are suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because they have failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act in issuing a permit to SWEPCO to fill wetlands and to remove water from the Little River.  SWEPCO’s plant will affect the environment in numerous ways, and the Corps needs to do more than accept SWEPCO’s watered-down version of those effects.” 

Ken Smith, Executive Director of Audubon Arkansas said, “This isn’t simply any wetlands area in Arkansas.  This is part of the most important wetlands in southwest Arkansas, including Little River Bottoms.  The Corps should have met every requirement in order to incorporate public procedure and public notice.”

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