Two groups challenge Indiana coal-gasification permit

Two environmental groups are challenging Indiana's extension of a construction permit for a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southern Indiana.

The Sierra Club and Valley Watch want an administrative law judge to strike down the Department of Environmental Management's December decision to extend Indiana Gasification's permit until June 27. IDEM made the decision after the Indiana Supreme Court validated Indiana Gasification's contract with the state after a lower court invalidated it.

Their appeal filed Monday contends the permit is invalid because the public didn't have a chance to comment on the extension request.

The agency says a comment period wasn't needed because the permit wasn't altered, just extended.

Indiana Gasification is awaiting Gov. Mike Pence's decision on whether he'll support the plant planned for the Ohio River town of Rockport. The company has a 30-year state contract requiring Indiana to buy the synthetic natural gas the plant would produce.


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