Posted: Jul 20, 2011 5:11 PM by Allyson Weller (KPAX News)
Updated: Jul 21, 2011 8:08 AM
MISSOULA- Several conservation groups challenged Missoula County's approval of a permit for the University of Montana's biomass boiler project on Wednesday afternoon at a public hearing.
Since the announcement of the biomass boiler, a number of community members and groups opposed the project. The Missoula City-County Health Department already issued the permit, but now it's up for administrative review.
The permit is required prior to construction so until it's finalized, the entire project is on hold.
"This was the first time that we could all get together at the same table in public view and have that conversation. I think having these discussions in an open forum like this is a good way to go," said Missoula City County Health Department Director Ellen Leahy.
Leahy says the health department should have a decision by the end of August and officials can change the permit, revoke it, or leave it as it is.
Following the decision, any of the groups can request a hearing before the Air Pollution Control Board.