The Arkansas Supreme Court said Thursday it will review a case involving Southwestern Electric Power Company's planned coal-fired power plant in south Arkansas.
The state Court of Appeals had overturned a permit that was issued by the Arkansas Public Service Commission for the $1.6 billion John W. Turk Jr. plant in Hempstead County. SWEPCO appealed that decision, and now the Arkansas Supreme Court is going to review the case.
The Appeals Court ruling, issued in June, said the Public Service Commission's process for considering such permits has been flawed. If upheld, the ruling would require the plant to start that process over.
SWEPCO said Thursday it was pleased the high court was to review the case.
"This is an important case — both for the Turk Plant and for the process used to approve major utility projects in Arkansas for more than 30 years," said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO's president and chief operating officer. "We believe the record in the case will show that the approval process was correct and that the Turk Plant approval should stand."
SWEPCO said that as of Sept. 30, about $830 million had been spent on the Turk project.
Opponents have argued that the plant would violate the federal Clean Air Act.