The Federal Government filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) on Monday, accusing OG&E of violating the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says OG&E failed to properly estimate emission increases before they started upgrade projects at two of its coal power plants, the Sooner Plant in Red Rock and Muskogee plant in Fort Gibson.
Last month the Oklahoma Sierra Club released a report showing that the two OG&E plants were producing enough toxic sulfur dioxide pollution to violate state and federal health standards. Today in a press release the Oklahoma Sierra Club praises the lawsuit.
“We are glad that the Justice Department has stepped up to enforce clean air protections here in Oklahoma,” said Whitney Pearson an Organizer with Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “There is no longer any excuse for OG&E to hide from their responsibility. It’s time they retire their old, dirty coal plants and begin investing in smart twenty first century energy solutions. Wind power has already created thousands of jobs right here in Oklahoma and there’s plenty more where that came from. We should stop importing coal from Wyoming mines 1,000 miles away and instead invest in Oklahoma’s future.”- read more
OG&E denies the allegations in the lawsuit. OG&E spokesman Brian Alford told StateImpact,
“Actual monitored data indicates that emissions did not increase as a result of the work performed.” – read more
The Oklahoma Sierra Club said it is saddened by the fact that OG&E didn’t put the pollution controls on when they were supposed to.
“… Oklahomans would be breathing cleaner air and seeing less days when state regulators are warning residents it is unsafe to breathe,” said Whitney Pearson. –read more
OG&E is preparing a formal response, which Green Oklahoma will be sure to share when it is available.
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Photo Credit- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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