Complaints filed regarding coal plantThe Dakota Resource Council and three couples filed a complaint with the North Dakota Public Service Commission on Thursday.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
The Dakota Resource Council and three couples filed a complaint with the North Dakota Public Service Commission on Thursday.
The complaint alleges GTL Energy’s coal beneficiation plant near South Heart violates North Dakota law.
The complaint reads, “In constructing and preparing to operate the Preparation Plant, GTL Energy is conducing unauthorized surface coal mining operations within the State of North Dakota.”
The DRC believes the GTL plant has a direct relationship with a proposed coal mine near South Heart, which would be run by Great Northern Power Development.
The beneficiation plant will likely receive at least a majority of the coal it processes from the nearby mine the complaint claims and therefore, in their interpretation of the law, it would be classified as a preparation plant.
The complaint states that because it would be classified as a preparation plant, the GTL plant would need a surface coal mining operation permit to operate.
Neil Tangen, who lives near the plant and is a co-signatory on the complaint, said its important GTL follows the law.
“It’s just that they’re in violation of the North Dakota codes, and the need to be held accountable, it doesn’t matter who it is,” Tangen said.
GTL CEO Robert French was contacted by The Press, but declined to comment.
Construction of the GTL coal beneficiation plant began in October, but has been put on hold since the onset of winter.
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