Public Hearings Held For White Pine County Coal Plants

State officials were peppered with tough questions Wednesday night about proposed power plants in eastern Nevada. Two massive coal plants are planned for White Pine County.

So far, the plants have received a green light from state and federal officials.

Wednesday night in Ely, more than 200 people showed up to speak their minds about one of the proposed plants, which is the largest energy project in state history.

Environmental officials from the state told the crowd that their analysis shows the plant would not be a threat to public health because it would use new, cleaner technology.

A majority of White Pine residents seem to support the plant because it would benefit the area's troubled economy, but dozens of environmentalists, many of whom came by bus from Utah, were clearly skeptical of the state's figures.

Although they don't live in Ely, they worry about the health effects of polluted air from the coal plant.

State officials listened to the comments but appear ready to give the okay to the Ely Energy Center.

The NDEP says even when a second coal plant comes on line, it will not pose a threat to public health.

In a related development, the National Parks Conservation Association announced its opposition to the plants -- stating that tons of pollutants spewed into the air would jeopardize air quality and endanger lakes and wildlife in the Great Basin National Park region.

Email your comments to Reporter George Knapp


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