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Power plant hearing Thursday



Published: Mon, August 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



An air permit is one of several approvals being sought by the company.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- Area residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and express their views during an upcoming hearing concerning a power plant proposed for Columbiana County.

Representatives of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will conduct the session, which is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Lisbon's junior-senior high school off Pine Street.

The meeting was prompted by an application filed by Cogentrix Energy Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., for a permit to discharge plant emissions into the air.

The emissions will come from the burning of the natural gas that will be used to run the turbines that will produce electricity at the plant, explained Kara Allison, an OEPA spokeswoman.

After the hearing, the agency will review Cogentrix's application and input from citizens and decide in coming months whether to issue the permit.

Other permits sought

The air permit is one of several Cogentrix is seeking as part of its effort to build the $600 million power plant in Center Township off St. Jacob-Logtown Road.

The company also has applied for an OEPA permit to discharge water used to cool the turbines into nearby Little Beaver Creek.

The water would be treated before being put into the creek.

The water permit is on hold while the OEPA seeks more information from the company, Allison said.

Eventually, a public hearing will be held for the water permit, too, she said.

A public hearing was held in April for a permit Cogentrix is seeking to fill in some wetlands on the project site.

The wetlands permit is still being reviewed.

In May, Cogentrix received permission from the Ohio Power Siting board to construct the plant on the 150-acre Center Township site, providing all other permits are granted.

Company is being sold

Although Cogentrix is proposing the project, it may be another company that actually builds the plant.

Cogentrix is being bought for $415 million by Aquila Inc., a Kansas City, Mo.-based energy company.

The purchase is expected to be finalized next month.

Aquila has said it intends to proceed with the plant's construction, which is expected to start sometime in the next few years.

All permits and approvals received by Cogentrix will be inherited by Aquila.




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