Study Attacks AP&L Plan

ACORN Issues Report on Plant

Arkansas Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) issued its report on Arkansas Power and Light's proposed Arkansas River power plant yesterday, citing studies by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and other groups to support its position that the AP&L's plans should not be approved.

The 39-page report--prepared by Steven L. Kest '74, who is working for ACORN while on leave from Harvard--used reports on other power plants and experiments testing sulfur dioxide's effects on trees, vegetables, grain, and human beings to buttress three contentions:

* That sulfur dioxide levels admissible under federal standards can cause considerable damage;

* That the proposed AP&L plant, which would burn low-sulfur coal, would probably emit more sulfur dioxide than Arkansas and federal standards permit, and;

* That sulfur dioxide emission control systems are available and should be installed in any power plant AP&L builds.


ACORN has sent copies of the report to members of the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility and about 20 other Harvard professors.

Wednesday AP&L took about 75 Arkansas officials, ACORN members and investigators from the Investor Responsibility Research Center--which is looking into the plant at Harvard's request--on a tour of two power plants in Kentucky and Missouri.

"This power plant we're proposing is the first one of its kind in this part of the country for many years," Charles Steele, an AP&L spokesman, said yesterday. "One picture is worth a thousand words, and seeing actual plants in operation helps to dispel some of the fears people have."

"All we did is provide the medium for getting there [plane and bus]," he continued. "People asked whatever questions they wanted, they saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. The ones I've talked to said they found it helpful."

But ACORN's Kest disagreed with Steele and said the tour "was clearly seen as an attempt to buy off ACORN."