MT County approves zoning change for coal-fired power plant

Commissioners Joe Briggs and Lance Olson supported the rezoning, but stopped short endorsing Highwood Generating Station.

“There are elements of this proposal about which I am very positive and others which concern me mightily,” Briggs said.

His concerns relate to the state’s review of small particulate emissions and the potential use of eminent domain to secure utility right-of-ways associated with the plant.

State law allows rural utilities to use eminent domain. However, Briggs said this case is unusual because the owners who might be asked to sacrifice land are not in SME’s electricity service area.

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