“The current permit and addendum that was granted do comply with current state and federal laws and with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling from last year,” said Sara Belfry, Spokeswoman for KDHE.
The Sierra Club feels differently.
“They just kind of tweaked a sentence or two and popped the permit back out in basically the exact same form,” said Amanda Goodin, one of the Earthjustice attorneys representing the Sierra Club.
“KDHE is one of those agencies that should be responsible to take care of the clean air act and enforce that and they’re not doing that in this case,” said Sierra Club member Yvonne Cather.
The Sierra Club said they’re worried that the opportunity for job growth could distract people from the potential health and environmental concerns, but Holcomb and Finney County say they know what they’re getting themselves into. Holcomb Mayor Gary Newman said they trust that KDHE has done its due diligence, and Sunflower is a valuable part of the community.
“It’s just disappointing that Sierra Club continues to do this,” he said. “They’re very deep pocketed lobbyists. I haven’t been able to find one that lives locally in the area that knows anything about what sunflower does. I’d be happy to sit down and meet with one of them.”
For now, plans for the plant are at a standstill until the appeal, or the permit, is thrown out.
The appeal is in front of the Appellate Court, but when this happened four years ago the Supreme Court picked up the case.
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