South Huntingdon couple sues over power plant plan
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Friday, June 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A South Huntingdon couple wants to halt construction of a proposed $500 million natural gas power plant.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Joseph and Arlene Kalinowski contend Westmoreland County, its planning department and Omaha-based Tenaska Inc. violated their rights when a site plan for the power plant was approved by county planners.
Les Mlakar, attorney for the couple, said the Kalinowskis object to plans that allow the proposed power plant to drain storm water onto their neighboring 100-acre property.
“My clients are trying to protect their property rights,” Mlakar said.
Since 2009, Tenaska has been planning construction of a 900-megawatt power plant in South Huntingdon. According to property records, the company paid more than $3.5 million to purchase 400 acres of rolling farmland along Interstate 70 between Smithton and West Newton.
The company's website said the proposed plant could be online in 2016 and provide power to up to 930,000 homes and businesses.
Tenaska has said about 300 construction jobs will be needed to build the facility. The plant would employ up to 30 full-time workers, according to the company's website.
Michael C. Roth, director for development of Tenaska's Westmoreland County project, said company officials have not reviewed the lawsuit and cannot comment on it.
Roth said the project is proceeding with permit applications and other negotiations.
“We are currently meeting with potential power customers and conducting preliminary engineering. The earliest construction could begin is in 2013, with earliest commercial operation in 2016,” Roth said.
Jason Rigone, executive director of the county planning department, said the project is a key economic development initiative for the county.
“From an economic development standpoint, it's a facility that is important. It's a good thing,” Rigone said.
The Kalinowski lawsuit specifically deals with permitting issues associated with the site plan, which was approved by the county in May.
The couple claims the company failed to obtain an easement to allow storm water to be released on their property. That oversight rendered the county's approval of the plan improper, according to the lawsuit.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Latrobe couple accused of using car trunk to end son’s fear of the dark
- South Greensburg bugler still playing ‘Taps,’ but few others continue tradition
- Southwest Caucus hears from Dems running for governor at Delmont event
- Information sought on armed robbery in Greensburg
- Greensburg man remains hospitalized after crash
- Probation officer testifies client’s calls scared her
- Grant funds boost Westmoreland recreation projects
- Holiday parade to be held Saturday in Mt. Pleasant
- County takes lead on Monsour demolition
- Police say student made Greensburg Salem bomb threat
- LeNature’s appeal tied to attorney