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Illinois EPA approves permit for coal power plant


St. Louis – State officials are boosting efforts to build a $2 billion coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois.

The Illinois EPA has approved another in a series of permits for the proposed 1,500 megawatt Prairie State Energy Campus in Washington County. And the state's Clean Coal Review Board has committed $2 million to the project.

The state EPA approved the latest permit Monday.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns that waste from the plant could seep into local water supplies. But a spokeswoman for the Prairie State plan says the project will have strict standards to protect the environment.

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy wants to build the plant. Construction could begin late next year.