TOPEKA – (October 12, 2011) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today his office has filed a legal brief asking the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold the construction permit issued for expansion of the Sunflower Electric power plant in Holcomb.
Schmidt’s office is defending the State of Kansas and its Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) against a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club asking the Court to reject the permit. Today’s brief was filed in response to the Sierra Club lawsuit and asks the Supreme Court to approve the permit for the plant. The permit was issued in December 2010 by KDHE Acting Secretary John Mitchell after KDHE staff found that Sunflower had met the permitting requirements.
“The publicly stated goal of Sierra Club, to impose an indefinite moratorium on construction of all facilities that burn coal, is not a proper administrative purpose under existing law,” the attorney general’s brief stated. “No law authorizes or requires KDHE to refuse to license an electric generating plant because its fuel source is coal. When an applicant for a construction permit establishes that all requirements of existing law have been met, KDHE is directed by law to grant that application.”
The state’s brief was filed by Deputy Attorney General Jeff Chanay and Assistant Attorney General Steve Fabert from Schmidt’s office.