citizens of the Cedar Valley address the proposal for a coal burning power plant

Waterloo, Iowa

City Council meeting

May 7, 2007




c e d a r v a l l e y s p e a k s

Group 7

4. Rebecca Wilharm, 5839 Newell Rd.

I am Rebecca Wilharm, I live at 5839 Newell Rd. I am asking you to postpone your vote unitl LS Power submits its proposal to the Iowa Utilities Board and the DNR so that you and the people you serve can see exactly what type of emission system will be used in he proposed coal plant. LS Power is saying State of the Art, but what does that mean?

I would also like to request that LS Power start to refrain from comparing this coal plant to the Cedar Falls Utilities and the UNI coal plant, because this is deliberately misleading to the public. In doing this the impression is given that the proposed coal plant will have little or no impact on the environment, the land value or the rail traffic. However this proposed coal plant will be approximately 20 x larger than CFU, but the impact will be 20 x greater. The general public should be fully informed of the health hazards of the coal burning plant. Every citizen of the Cedar Valley should receive information regarding the possible health risks from the emissions of this plant. Kind of like “The Right to Know” like you, Mayor had worked on at John Deere. Not everyone in our community nor surrounding are receives the Courier or listens to the news, some Cedar Valley residents even erroneously believe that their utility bill will be lowered do to this plant. They do not realize that the power generated will be sold off to the larger cities in the state with no benefits to the local residents.

Next year is election year. LS Power is trying to push this coal plant through before the risk of a federal administration mandating higher emission standards for coal plants. Or Governor Culver and other state officials enact stricter emission standards for Iowa. Due to current awareness of climate changes, global warming from hazardous emissions, it is inevitable that emission standards will become stronger and stronger over time. If LS Power pushes approval of this plant under current state and federal emission standards, the Cedar Valley and Waterloo in particular, is going to be stuck with a huge coal plant belching noxious carbon dioxide 24/7 for decades.
Will this coal plant enhance the quality of life in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area and encourage people to live and raise families here? Well informed and unbiased residents will tell you no. And know that metaphor how many trees you plant or bike paths you make, none of that compensates for the hazards of a giant coal plant in your midst.

Communities across this nation are looking for cleaner alternatives to energy production yet our city government seams to be stuck in the past chasing after fossil fuel production and welcoming one of the highest producers of green house gases into our area. As responsible citizens our community should be investing in new forms of energy rather that clinging to what is old, cheap and easy.

Green is the way for communities to go. Green is even patriotic. Green is the new red white and blue, and that’s what we should be supporting. Look beyond the money. Postpone this vote please until after the Iowa Utilities Board and the DNR review the LS Power application. I would also like to say too, that Mr. Milburn had mentioned that he was educating the community, and I would like to know how and who, because I live less ¼ mile from the proposed plant and I have never received a pamphlet, a letter, nor any communication from anyone at LS Power. Also the study from Mark Winninger said that there is no new development in our area…that’s maybe because it’s been zoned agricultural and it’s been honored up to this point.