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Wasco city management and its Bakersfield attorney declined to comment on the suit. But a city staff report states the project's environmental analysis is being conducted as part of a review by the California Energy Commission. For that reason, it says, CEQA "does not apply" to the coal depot's city issued operating permit.
"It is about the legal requirement for local government to make decisions that may have large impacts on the environment with adequate information," he said.
Agency spokesman Michael Ward would not comment on the Sierra Club's lawsuit but stated in an email the commission is looking at "any and all potential impacts related to HECA's proposed use of the Wasco Coal Terminal."
Alleging a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act, the nonprofit group's lawsuit accuses Wasco officials of inappropriately waiving an extensive environmental review prior to a March 18 city council vote increasing Savage's maximum yearly volume from 900,000 tons of coal per year to 1.5 million. The facility currently handles about 200,000 tons per year.
Savage did not respond to requests for comment, and HECA declined to address the lawsuit or say how it would secure coal if the terminal's permitted capacity were not Burberry Grainy Leather Backpack
Lawsuit over coal depot could affect HECA project
The state Energy Commission continues to analyze the project, even as an agency spokesman noted staff members are waiting for HECA to provide supplemental information required to complete their review. A final vote on the project had been expected this year, but because of delays the timing of such a decision is unclear.
Evan Gillespie, deputy director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, said Friday the suit in Kern County Superior Court is aimed at protecting Wasco residents from harmful impacts such as reduced air quality caused by train shipments of coal nearly 24 hours a day.
The Sierra Club denies this was its goal when on April 23 the group filed a lawsuit objecting to Wasco's approval of a permit allowing Burberry Crossbody - Haymarket Colors Peyton
increased. The plant is being designed to run on coal or petroleum coke.
HECA would employ about 200 people producing chemicals for fertilizer as well as electricity for sale to the state's power grid. Some 90 percent of the carbon dioxide generated there is proposed to be buried in nearby oil fields, which would promote oil production since it makes petroleum less viscous. But other emissions Burberry Crossbody Bag Sale
An environmental activist who lives near Wasco, Tom Frantz, wrote in an email he did not think the Sierra Club lawsuit was an attempt to stop the HECA plant.
an existing coal rail depot to handle two thirds more fuel than it is currently allowed.
such as nitrogen oxides and fine particulates would exceed allowable levels, and so the project's Massachusetts backer, SCS Energy LLC, has had to purchase air quality offsets.
The depot at issue, Savage Services Corp.'s Wasco Coal Terminal, would serve Hydrogen Energy California, or HECA, a proposed chemical and Prada Bag Blush power plant that has raised safety and pollution concerns among neighbors.
The federal government has pledged $408 million in subsidies to the project, mainly because it represents a novel and relatively clean use of coal.
Although the terminal and the HECA project are "inextricably linked," he said, the Sierra Club views the depot as a separate issue from the coal fired plant, which the group also opposes.
"We are not looking at this (lawsuit) as a proxy fight for HECA," he said.
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