A public hearing on a controversial power plant project drew an overflow crowd to the Waterloo city council chambers Monday evening for a meeting that lasted nearly six hours. Most of the residents who filled the room oppose the project. They voiced concerns about health issues related to potential emission levels and expressed fear that carbon dioxide generated by the plant would harm the environment.
Project supporters touted the economic benefits such a plant would bring to the Cedar Valley — among them one-hundred new jobs and two million dollars in local taxes. In the end, the city council unanimously approved the project. The action clears the way for the city to annex 340-acres of land northeast of Waterloo.
It also allows L-S Power to build the proposed one-point-three billion dollar, 750-megawatt coal-fired Elk Run Energy Station on 260-acres of rezoned land. L-S Power must get approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Utilities Board before moving the project forward.
The company hopes to begin construction in 2008, and have the plant operational by 2012. When it’s finished, the Elk Run Energy Station will be capable of producing electricity for 500,000 homes.