FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             CONTACT:  Anne Woiwode 517-484-2372
Thursday, December 16, 2010                                               Shannon Fisk 347.393.5557

Governor’s Clean Energy Legacy hangs in the Balance as Judge Rejects Law and Science in Overturning DNRE Permit Denial

HOLLAND, MI–Citizens groups today urged Governor  Granholm to defend her clean energy policies and legacy in Michigan by appealing a misguided decision Wednesday by an Ottawa County judge that reversed rules used by the state to deny a coal plant air pollution permit sought by the Holland Board of Public Works (“HBPW”).
In a ruling issued from the bench yesterday, Judge Van Allsburg reversed the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s denial of HBPW’s air permit application and ordered the environmental agency to reconsider the application within 60 days.
Allsburg also blocked MDNRE from rejecting the application solely on the basis of a lack of energy need and said MDNRE could not apply existing regulations to the permit proposal.
“The court was clearly off base in its ruling,” said Shannon Fisk, Senior Attorney at the Midwest Office of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “We certainly hope that MDNRE will appeal this decision and defend the agency’s clear legal authority to not allow unnecessary air pollution.”
“Governor Granholm has moved Michigan out of the dark ages and into a new, clean energy future. But just days before she leaves office a rogue court has tarnished that record,” said Anne Woiwode, Director of the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club. “In the waning days of her administration, Governor Granholm can and should take a stand to protect our future from more polluting coal fired power plants by appealing this badly flawed decision.”
The construction of new coal plants in Michigan would not only cost ratepayers an enormous amount of money to cover unneeded new plants, it would continue the pollution of downtown Holland’s air quality while blocking development of exceptional renewable energy resources available in the area.


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