The Project is undergoing extensive regulatory oversight and evaluation by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Among the first permits required is the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit. This permit establishes criteria under which the new generating unit must operate and control emissions released into the environment.
Under the federal Clean Air Act, the EPA designed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect human health and the environment. The EPA further establishes emissions performance standards for new industrial facilities that new facilities must meet.
Baed on federal regulations established by the Clean Air Act, Kansas submitted a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the EPA, which was approved. The KDHE is, therefore, responsible for evaluating permit applications and establishing the final emission limits and technology requirements for all PSD construction permits within the state.
Kansas law requires that any entity that proposes to construct or modify a major source of air emissions must obtain a permit prior to construction of the project. In compliance with Kansas law, Sunflower filed an application for a construction permit on February 6, 2006, for the original Project configuration. In January 2010 Sunflower submitted updated materials with additional analyses in response to new regulatory requirements. The KDHE technical staff has completed its review of the refreshed application and published a draft air quality construction permit in the Kansas Register on July 1, 2010. The public comment period began on July 1 and ran through August 15, 2010, and KDHE scheduled three public hearings across the state on August 2, 4, and 5,- of 2010. A final permit was issued on December 16, 2010.
Issuance of the permit by KDHE was appealed by the Sierra Club and a decision of the Kansas Supreme Court was handed-down on Oct. 4, 2013, that required KDHE to include certain additional specific conditions. A final permit three-page addendum, affirmatively responding to these same elements was issued by KDHE on Jan. 16, 2014. Sierra Club again appealed the decision and the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the permit addendum on March 17, 2017.