Power Plant May be Shut Down
Plant in Chamois could close due to EPA emission rules
***UPDATE 10:00 P.M.***
The Chamois power plant that brings millions of dollars to the economy and employs many people will likely shut down. Plant officials explained the issues they face to approximately 150 people at a community meeting Thursday night at the Chamois high school.
In order to come into compliance with new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, the plant would have to undergo pollution-reducing upgrades that would cost millions of dollars.
The initial costs come to $14 million over the next five years. On top of that, the plant faces a 94% increase in costs for transporting coal to Chamois, and $3 million in railroad upgrades by 2014.
The Central Electric Power Cooperative, who owns and operates the plant, has a delivery contract to bring in the coal -- that contract expires this year, and those rates are increasing significantly. Plant officials say they cannot afford to stay open.
If the plant shuts down, the community of 390 people will lose the 30 jobs currently provided by the $2.2 million operation. EPA officials claim the regulations will offset the immediate costs to the community by generating billions of dollars in public health benefits.
US Representative Blaine Leuktemeyer attended Thursday night's meeting, and says he plans to work with the EPA to get a time extension on the regulations. However, plant owners stress that they have already exhausted all options to bring costs down, and fear that the plant could power down as soon as the end of February, to sometime in June.
Hundreds of people are expected to gather Thursday evening in fear of a Mid-Missouri power plant shutting down. The Chamois Power Plant is Osage County may be forced to close in response to new Environmental Protection Agency rules.
Plant officials will explain the issues they face to workers and residents Thursday night. More than 30 employees could lose their jobs if the plant closes, however it's effects will be far-reaching. The plant brings in around $2 million a year. Around $58,000 of that goes straight to the Chamois School District through taxes.
Mandates from the EPA concern emission control on coal plants, but because the mandates are costly, the plant may not have another option except to power down. The costs at issue will be detailed at the meeting.
Several lawmakers are expected to appear, including Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, and are expected to support the plant staying open.
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