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PSU power plant conversion clears hurdle
Planning commission votes in favor of plant change
Reported By: Erin Calandra
Written By: Marc Stempka
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. The State College Planning Commission approved Wednesday plans to convert a Penn State University coal power plant to a natural gas plant.
The commission voted 4-2 in favor of the plant conversion, pending the outcome of Department of Environmental Protection pollution study.
The approval by the commission now clears the way for the plant conversion vote to the taken up by the State College borough council.
The commission heard heated debate this afternoon of the plant proposal, a topic that has been hotly contested in the community for nearly a year.
Several residents were at the meeting, continuing to oppose the plans, citing safety and pollution as the man reason for disagreeing with the universitys plans to convert the plant.
The plant was approved on its second vote before the commission. Six of the seven planning commission members were present for todays vote.
The vote on the first proposal today ended 3-3. When the second vote was taken and the pending approval of the DEP plan was added, the plans passed.
Penn State officials have said the power plant, on the universitys campus near downtown State College, needs to be converted to natural gas to help the school meet changes in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air pollution standards by 2015.
Current plans from Penn State for a pipeline that will provide natural gas to the plant keep the pipeline on campus and out of State College borough.