Concerned about the impact that the closure of the Central Electric Power Cooperative power plant in Chamois would have on employees and local communities, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) has written a letter to top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency not to impose crippling regulations on the facility and questioning the methods used to create and justify those regulations.
Luetkemeyer, who met with local residents and officials this week in Chamois to discuss the issue, said in his letter dated January 30 to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe that harsh EPA regulations and the costs associated with them would put people out of work and eliminate a low-cost source of electricity to people and businesses in central Missouri.
"Time and again, these kinds of government regulations have had devastating impacts on working people across the country. Unfortunately, the actions by the EPA as it relates to the Central Electric Power Plant in Chamois is another tragic example of that," said Luetkemeyer, who grew up in nearby Miller County. "After hearing from the folks in Chamois, it is clear they are victims of overreaching federal regulations that will have a devstating impact not only on these fine folks but also on the nearby communities and thousands of consumers who have benefitted from the plant for more than 60 years."
In the letter to EPA, Luetkemeyer noted that between 2015 and 2018, it would cost approximately $14 million for the plant to meet EPA environmental requirements including major maiontenance and capital expenditures including infrastrucure enhancements related to the delivery of coal to the plant. Luetkemeyer said that if EPA fails to back off the costly requirements, the Chamois plant could be closed by the end of the year.
"The future of the Chamois plant is severely impacted by the regulations promulgated by your agency, resulting in costs which are likely to force the closure of this plant," Luetkemeyer wrote. "I do not believe that a forced closure of this plant is necessary or appropriate. I respectfully urge you to give due consideration to my request and look forward to your prompt response."