An informational meeting about a coal burning power plant planned for Glades County will be held tonight in Ortona. Florida Power and Light recently got the go-ahead from Glades County to move forward with permitting of a coal burning plant to power 650-thousand homes. County officials say it’s an economic boom, bringing tax revenue and jobs. But Ellen Petersen, with the Sierra Club of Southwest Florida, doesn’t see it that way.
“We should be helping them with ecotourism and the wonderful aspects of the lake and the wonderful things that can be done in glades with Fisheating creek and cypress knee museum which would be spectacular tourist draws but this coal fired thing is an abomination.”
Petersen wants the national chapter of the Sierra Club to try to quash the plant. She says it threatens endangered birds like swallowtail kites. And she disagrees with FPL’s claim that new technology will minimize harmful emissions. F-P-L Area Manager for Southwest Florida, Grover Whidden, says the utility has done its homework – and the plant will do no harm.
“We have done initial environmental assessment of the site itself and have not found any endangered species. the site consists principally of the sugar cane fields – it’s presently cultivated in sugar cane fields – but even for any endangered species outside the immediate plant area it should not be a problem because this plant is not going to create any pollution.”
If the permitting process goes forward groundbreaking could be in two years – with the plant generating electricity by 2012. The informational meeting is at the Ortona Community Center at 7 P-M.
Friday, 22 September 2006 01:00
Glades Coal PlantWritten by WGCU Newsroom