FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2004
ENRD (202) 514-2007|
EPA (202) 564-9828
TDD (202) 514-1888
UNITED STATES FILES SUIT AGAINST KENTUCKY POWER COOPERATIVE
FOR VIOLATION OF CLEAN AIR ACT NEW SOURCE REVIEW PROVISIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The United States has filed a civil complaint against East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) provisions, the Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky announced today. The government alleges the violations resulted from three “major modifications” to EKPC coal-fired power plants located in Clark and Mason Counties, Ky.
Among the charges in the complaint is the claim that in the 1990's EKPC modified three of its coal-burning electric generating units without first obtaining NSR permits or installing the best available control technology (BACT), as required by law. The complaint also charges EKPC with violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards, operating permit requirements, and the Kentucky State Implementation Plan.
The two EKPC power plants involved in this case are:
1) the Spurlock Plant, located in Mason County, Ky. The Spurlock Plant operates two coal-fired generating units, one of which is at issue in this case.
2) the Dale Plant, located in Clark County, Ky. The Dale Plant operates four coal-fired generating units, two of which are at issue in this case.
“This is yet another in a series of cases filed as part of an enforcement initiative to bring the coal-fired electric power generating industry into full compliance with the Clean Air Act,” said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice. “Through vigorous prosecution of these cases we have achieved substantial results to date, including landmark court decisions and environmentally protective settlements.”
The complaint alleges that EKPC undertook several projects that increased coal consumption and emissions from its plants. It alleges EKPC should have undergone New Source Review if it wished to increase coal consumption above permitted limits and would have been required to install pollution controls.
“This shows that the EPA will continue to clean up coal-fired power plants,” said John Peter Suarez, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Utilities that ignore their environmental responsibilities risk enforcement action.”
Coal-fired power plants account for nearly 70 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions each year and 30 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions.