For Immediate Release
July 30, 2010

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

Public Comment Period Restructured for Sunflower Electric Draft Air Quality Permit

The public comment period for Sunflower Electric Power Corp’s draft air quality construction permit is being restructured to accommodate changes Sunflower needs to make to its air pollution dispersion modeling data.

This week, it was determined by federal and state officials that the meteorological data Sunflower Electric used were not adjusted for differences in time zones prior to input into the dispersion model.  Modeling results simulate how the plant will impact ambient air in surrounding areas.  Sunflower has been advised this portion of the permit application will need to be revised and resubmitted. It is estimated it will take approximately 30 days to receive the revised information.

Kansas Department of Health Environment (KDHE) is committed to a public process which will include a second comment period on all aspects of the permit.  KDHE will issue an additional public notice subsequent to review of the modeling data and conduct one public hearing to receive comments on the new modeling data results as well as the entire draft permit. Details on the second comment period and final hearing will be announced at a later date.

The current public comment period is scheduled to end August 15 and KDHE encourages anyone with comments related to the permit to submit comments by this date. The public hearings scheduled for next week will continue as planned to receive comments on all aspects of the draft permit. KDHE believes it is important to hold these hearings to keep the process moving forward. The public comment period is part of the permitting process.

They public hearings will be held at the following locations:

In each location, the public hearing will begin at 2 p.m. and continue until all participants present have an opportunity to offer written and/or verbal comments, but no later than 5 p.m. The hearing will reconvene at 6:30 p.m. and continue until all verbal and/or written comments have been submitted by participants.

All comments should be submitted by e-mail to sunflowercomments@kdheks.gov , or in writing to: KDHE Bureau of Air, Attn.: Sunflower Comments, 1000 S.W. Jackson, Suite 310, Topeka, KS 66612-1366 or presented at the hearing.

A copy of the draft permit, permit application, supporting documentation, and information relied upon during the permit application review process are available for public review online at http://www.kdheks.gov/bar/index.html or at the above Topeka address during normal business hours (8 a.m. until 5 p.m.) July 1 through August 15. Copies of the draft permit and all supporting documentation can also be reviewed at the KDHE Northwest District Office, 2301 East 13th St., Hays, or at the KDHE Southwest District Office, 302 W. MacArtor Road, Dodge City. The standard departmental cost will be assessed for any copies requested.

To obtain or review the draft permit and supporting documentation, contact Linda Vandevord at (785) 296-6423 in Topeka; Allen Guernsey, District Environmental Administrator at the KDHE Southwest District Office (620) 225-0596; or Dan Wells,  District Environmental Administrator at the KDHE Northwest District Office  at (785) 625-5665.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the KDHE have been meeting with Sunflower regularly throughout the application process and will continue the meetings.