Enviro Groups Prepare To Sue Luminant's Northeast Texas Power Plants Over Air Pollution

Categories: The Environment

TXU_BigBrown-coal-plant.jpg
Big Brown
The Sierra Club gave Luminant Generation Company, downtown-based and one of Texas's biggest power suppliers, notice Thursday that it plans to sue them for thousands of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at two of its coal-fired power plants in northeast Texas.

According to environmental law organizations Earthjustice and Environmental Integrity Project, Luminant's Big Brown plant near Fairfield; its Monticello plant near Mount Pleasant; and its Martin Lake Plant near Tatum (sued last year by the Club) are responsible for 25 percent of the state's industrial pollution and 46 percent of its pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Suma Peesapati, an Earthjustice staff attorney, tells Unfair Park they relied on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's own data for the number of violations they found.

"These monitoring reports were sent to TCEQ," she said. "They're clearly labeled deviations, so there is no dispute they've exceeded their limits frequently and dramatically. TCEQ hasn't done anything, so that's why we got involved."

The pollution limits Peesapati cites are for opacity, meant to curb the emission of soot from smokestacks. This kind of particulate has been tied to heart and lung illness. The Big Brown and Monticello plants, the Sierra Club says the data shows, have violated opacity limits 38,000 times in the last five years.

"They get 60 days to correct the violations and come to some settlement with us," Preesapati says.

This isn't the first time these plants have come under attack for being big polluters. An investor and former New York State Comptroller said the plants were dirty and, on top of that, struggling to remain solvent after Luminant attained them through its purchase of TXU. EIP and Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against the Martin Lake plant back in September 2010 for the same air quality violations.

We haven't heard back from Luminant yet, but we'll update when we do.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
6 comments
Power plant engineer
Power plant engineer

The data provided to the Sierra Club is provided to the EPA from the plants stack emmissions monitoring system.  The dat is available as a part of the Fredom of Information Act.  The plant could comply it would just cost money to place the backend equipment on the Montecello and Big Brown units.  The problem is lower sulfer coals not mined in Texas would cost much more and the backend equipment is very expensive.  It would much cost less to install a set of gas turbine plants. This would reduce the environmental footprint and provide clean reliable energy.

MattL1
MattL1

So the plant is called "Big Brown?"  Yeah, sounds really environmentally friendly...

Luminant Media Relations
Luminant Media Relations

The following is the statement that was provided by Luminant:

Luminant stands by its strong track record of exemplary compliance in meeting or outperforming all environmental laws, rules and regulations. These appear to be unfounded accusations from a group that has made these same claims before.

Guest
Guest

Just another job-killing lawsuit against people-killing pollution.

I can't decide which side I'm on.

John2247
John2247

FIXED Version--

The following is the statement that was provided by Luminant:

Luminant stands by its strong track record of exemplary compliance in meeting or outperforming all environmental laws, rules and regulations.* These appear to be unfounded accusations from a group that has made these same claims before. **

* Except we don't.** We don't like people calling us on our BS.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

I wonder how much of the Sierra club is funded by the KOCH type CASH to help bring this kind of lawsuit that will cause and create enough of outcry and backlash to will allow a self righteous DEMANDING of Federal EVIL EPA Money to cover the entire cost of shutting down an already inefficient plant ?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...