SUPERIOR, WI-- Two environmental groups filed a petition against the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) after the agency issued a permit approving the construction of the Nemadji Trail Energy Plant.
According to court documents, Sierra Club and Clean Wisconsin filed a petition against the agency in Dane County on Friday.
The groups claim the project poses significant environmental threats such as depletion of groundwater and loss of wetlands.
A spokesperson from Sierra Club released the following statement:
"Climate change is a global crisis, but the causes and impacts can be seen right here in Wisconsin. Allowing utilities to swap one fossil fuel for another is not only shortsighted for our environment, it will leave Wisconsinites saddled with the costs of an expensive new power plant for decades to come."
Minnesota Power is currently in the permit-gathering phase of the $700 million project.
According to a statement from Minnesota Power, "ALLETE is reviewing the filing. The company supports the Commission’s decision to approve the NTEC project which followed public involvement and lengthy regulatory review. We believe the decision by the Commission affirmed that the site is appropriate for the facility, and the overall importance of the natural gas power plant to the reliability of the grid and to the region, as we transition to a cleaner energy future. Natural gas is an important component of our EnergyForward strategy as we transition away from coal and build more renewables, to ensure the delivery of safe and reliable power to customers. Working with our partner, Dairyland Power Cooperative, the project is moving forward with obtaining all necessary permits necessary to begin construction, and the approval by the Wisconsin PSC was consequential in this overall progress."
The PSC issued the permit in January.