For Immediate Release
February 9, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

In anticipation of federal action, KDHE issues interim guidance on CO2

Only new power plants will have CO2 evaluated in permitting process

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Roderick L. Bremby today issued guidance saying that the only facilities, for which Carbon Dioxide (CO2) will be considered in the permitting process, are new power plants. New proposals for power plants will need to include CO2 reductions and offsets like wind and solar power.

“KDHE has approved thousands of permits, allowing new and existing companies to prosper in Kansas,” Bremby said. “But with the new presidential administration, and imminent action from the EPA on the horizon, we know that there will be new federal guidelines concerning CO2.

“In the meantime, we now have an interim guidance document that clarifies for Kansas businesses what is expected of them at the state level. By taking action today, we’ll be better off tomorrow.”

On October 18, 2007, KDHE denied the air quality permit for a coal-fired power plant in Holcomb, Kansas. This single permit is the only one to have been denied by the Secretary during his administration, while more than 3,400 have been approved.

KDHE will continue to focus only on permits for new power plants, as they  account for more CO2 than any other source of emissions.  Power plants produce 34 percent of all CO2 emissions in Kansas, and just over 78 percent of the CO2 emissions from industries regulated by KDHE.

Focusing on CO2 from new base load power plants – whose typical life span is 30-50 years - is also consistent with the policies and regulatory actions of numerous other states.

To view the Kansas Department of Health and Environment interim guidance in its entirety, please visit www.kdheks.gov.