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Group files new complaint over coal plant

Six landowners and the Dakota Resource Council filed an updated complaint against GTL Energy for failing to get a coal preparation plant permit before building a plant near South Heart.

The Wednesday move is the latest in a battle that has gone on for months.

Great Northern Power Development recently withdrew its application for a 275-acre coal mine but Mary Hodell, of Neighbors United, a group concerned about the plant, says the projects are linked.

"They share a spokesperson and they share all their employees and say they are two separate things but they are linked together," she said. "They withdrew it (the permit) to prove they are not and that kind of sends up a little bit of fishiness, too."

No timeline has been set to hear the complaint, Hodell said.

Without a permit, taxpayers could get stuck with GTLE's cleanup costs, said Nancy Eberts, one of the landowners who filed the complaint.

"We want the PSC to protect our community and North Dakota taxpayers by making GTLE follow the rules and get a coal preparation plant permit," she said in the press release. "With a permit there will be a bond that guarantees GTLE will pay for cleaning up the site when their coal preparation plant is no longer operating."

Phone calls to GTL Energy CEO Robert French were not returned Thursday.