March 19, 2018

March 19, 2018

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Coal Plants Sued for Pollution Exceedances

On March 12 the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court against DTE Energy Company alleging violations of the federal Clean Air Act. The complaint cited 1499 instances between January 1, 2007 and June 30, 2012 in which the coal-fired plants of Belle River, River Rouge, St. Clair and Trenton Channel exceeded permitted opacity limits. These exceedances were measured by automatic continuous emission monitors and reported by the company in its required periodic reporting. For relief the Sierra Club is asking the Court to order that these plants:

  • comply with their opacity limits 100 percent of the time;
  • either install additional pollution control equipment or switch operations to natural gas, and;
  • pay civil penalties.

Each of the plants except Belle River is more than 50 years old.

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About this Author

Bruce Goodman, Environmental lawyer, Varnum

Bruce practices energy law, environmental law, and construction law. His energy background includes negotiating electric power sales agreements (both for wholesale sellers of energy and for retail consumers of energy) state electric rate cases, developing municipal energy tariffs, and energy project structuring and permitting. For years, he published a blog focused on alternative energy developments in Michigan. Most recently he has been involved in various alternative energy projects, including wind energy, biofuels and solar projects.

His environmental experience includes air...