LA CROSSE, WI – Dairyland Power Cooperative has reached a joint settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club concluding litigation regarding alleged violations of the New Source Review (NSR)* provisions of the Clean Air Act.
The EPA and Sierra Club accused Dairyland of making modifications to its coal-fired power plants in Alma and Genoa without obtaining the proper permits or installing the best pollution control.
Dairyland agreed to the settlement, but said they did not violate any laws because they didn't need a permit to do routine maintenance on the plants.
"We believed very firmly, and still do, that we had done nothing wrong," William Berg, Dairyland CEO said. "But, we could look at other cases and sometimes courts made determinations that didn't always make sense, so there was that risk."
Dairyland has agreed to invest approximately $150 million in pollution control technology that will protect public health and resolve violations of the Clean Air Act. The settlement will also require that DPC spend $5 million on environmental projects to benefit the areas surrounding the plants and pay a civil penalty of $950,000.
The $5 million spend on local projects will include $250,000 each to the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service, $2 million will be spent on a major solar photovoltaic development project; the remaining mitigation funding will be spent on one or more of the following projects installation of solar panels, home weatherization projects and the replacement of standard vehicle fleet with cleaner burning vehicles.
"This settlement will improve air quality in Wisconsin and downwind areas by significantly reducing releases of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other harmful pollutants," Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice said. "This agreement also demonstrates the Justice Department's commitment to enforcing the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act, which help ensure cleaner air for those communities located near large sources of air pollution."
This is the 22nd judicial settlement secured by the Justice Department and the EPA, and the 23rd settlement overall, as part of a national enforcement initiative to control harmful emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act's New Source Review requirements.
The total combined sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emission reductions secured from these settlements will exceed nearly 2 million tons each year once all the required pollution controls have been installed and implemented.
The settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The settlement can be viewed at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html
More information about the settlement: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/dairyland.html
More information about EPA's enforcement initiative: www.epa.gov/compliance/data/planning/initiatives/2011airpollution.html
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.