BOISE -- Idaho's five-year prohibition on coal-fired power plants was lifted Monday but state regulators aren't expecting a rush to build any such facilities in the Gem State.
The state's Board of Environmental Quality voted unanimously to lift the prohibition after Martin Bauer, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's air administrator, told them he knows of no proposals to build a coal-fired power plant in Idaho.
Bauer told the board the prohibition was no longer necessary because the federal Clean Air Mercury Rule has been ruled invalid. The prohibition was directed by then-Gov. Jim Risch in response to the federal rule.
Bauer also said a state rule approved near the close of the 2011 Idaho Legislature will enable the DEQ to regulate mercury emissions from all sources within the state.
Public comment will be taken on the temporary rule lifting the prohibition, which was effective April 26 and will have to be acted on by the 2012 Idaho Legislature to become permanent.