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Michigan Environmental Group Opposes Natural Gas Plant In Marshall That Could Power 1 Million Homes

An environmental group in Michigan is challenging a proposed natural gas power plant project in Marshall, saying they are concerned about health impacts and climate change.

A New York developer is trying to secure a permit to build two natural gas turbines at the Brooks Industrial Park in Marshall, but the fossil fuel plant is not greeted with enthusiasm by everyone in the city.

"It's really now looking at something new approved and put through is just going in the opposite direction," said Jan O'Connell, Sierra Club Energy Issues Organizer.

The Sierra Club and Great Lakes Environmental Law Center are challenging the Marshall Energy Center Project.

They say the project would release an enormous amount of climate-warming pollution.

"We have serious concerns about it both from a local perspective and a climate change perspective," said Nick Leonard, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center Executive Director. "We urge the department and company to take a really close look at whether this is the right step for Marshall and the state."

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says the proposed plants would emit about four million tons of carbon dioxide every year.

The state says the project, as proposed, would comply with air quality regulations.

Some Marshall residents say they don't think they're being taken into consideration.

"I refer to the Enbridge leak into the Kalamazoo River," says Ray Mickus, Marshall resident. "It strikes me as very similar here where corporate interests are going along, and we don't really matter except for the economic part."

According to the proposal, the project would cost about $800 million to build and be able to generate enough electricity to power more than one million homes.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is currently reviewing the proposed permit and is expected to make a final decision in the coming weeks if the project can move forward, requires changes, or will be denied.

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