The Black Hawk County Board of Health this week endorsed the idea of a moratorium on state-regulated coal-fired power plants. The board cited a study authored by a University of Northern Iowa chemistry professor who argues federal emission standards for coal-fired power plants aren’t strict enough.
Black Hawk County Board of Health director Tom O’ Rourke says that study "opened the eyes" of board members.
"The board of health recognized that the staff here did not have expertise in air quality so there was a knowledge gap and the best way to bridge that gap was to commission a study by a local professor," O’Rourke says. According to O’ Rourke, the moratorium recommendation gives the health department a voice in the coal-fired plant argument.
Officials with L.S. Power say they will continue with plans to build a 750 megawatt coal-fired plant in Black Hawk County. Public hearings were held this week in central Iowa on Alliant Energy’s proposal to construct a coal-fired plant near Marshalltown.