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Kansas agency, utility worked closely on permit for coal plant

Hundreds of emails document that officials of a Kansas power plant enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Kansas regulators who issued them a building permit in December.

The Sunflower coal-fired power plant already had been controversial, with critics claiming it is unneeded and would pollute the air. So the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) had promised an impartial review of the permit.

But during the months the department was writing the 275-page permit, which will determine emissions releases for years to come, staffers were in almost daily contact with Sunflower Electric Power Corp. officials, The Kansas City Star has found.

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