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A Better Partnership


Jun 2011
June 29, 2011

Warner Norcross Attorneys Assist Wolverine Power With Permitting For New Power Plant

On June 29, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued to Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative a prevention of significant deterioration of air quality, or PSD, permit authorizing under the federal Clean Air Act the construction of a 600 MW electric generating unit designed to burn coal, petroleum coke and biomass. The facility will be located in Rogers City, Michigan. A team of WNJ environmental attorneys, including Eugene Smary, Michael Robinson, Steve Kohl and Ken Vermeulen, has assisted Wolverine Power on the project which also required a landfill permit, a harbor permit and zoning and real estate work.

The permitting effort began in 2007 and included obtaining a court reversal of a previous state agency decision to deny the project a PSD permit. Steven Kohl, the Warner Norcross partner principally involved in the air permitting and litigation, stated he was pleased to learn of the MDEQ's decision to issue the permit after four years of working through a continually changing political and legal environment. According to Kohl, the Wolverine project is the first coal fired project in the nation to have completed a Greenhouse Gas Best Available Control Technology review under the PSD "Tailoring Rule" promulgated by USEPA in 2010. Kohl said: "I am thankful that Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative gave us the opportunity to work on such a challenging project with its internal experts and outside consultants. A lawyer welcomes precedent setting opportunities." He added that with the permit, Wolverine's management can focus on serving its cooperative members with reliable and economical electric power.

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